We snooped this article on T-Nation about how drug free (aka, "natural") bodybuilding is not really that natural at all. Our response at The Snoop? Well, to turn the above phrase around: T-nation's explanations are not really all that explanatory at all.
This article – or some form of it – comes out very few years. It's always trying to pose as some crusading take-down. It is always posturing as if it were the real deal. It is always throwing around ideas describing how to cheat as if they were solid facts of the everyday norm rather than anecdotes. And it is always written in that corny, cliché "Come on, guys – let's get real," tone of voice. (As a matter of fact we think they actually use that exact phrase somewhere.)
Bombastic and hyperbolic, this article is just like all it's predecessors. It once again paints for us an idea that there are no such things as drug free athletes in strength and bodybuilding sports – as if the vast majority are somehow complete lying scumbags. Which is unto itself a ridiculous statement. I mean, upon entering the competitive field do all athletes magically start absorbing steroids in the manners they point out? Even if what they posit is true, and there is far more prevalent cheating than most assume (which there likely isn't), does the cheating begin INSTANTANEOUSLY?
There is no way to get hard data on how many athletes are truly drug free and how many use the cover-ups this article bemoans. However, "the plural of anecdote is data" the science geeks like to say, and for every anecdote of someone cheating most athletes who compete in the tested leagues can supply scores of anecdotes testifying authenticity of athlete drug-free status. Yes, in the end it boils down to anecdotal-evidence-versus-anecdotal-evidence, but I don't think anyone ever saw it differently – so we're not really sure WHOM this article is "taking down."
The reason it is Snoop-worthy is less about it's content and more about it's pathetically desperate tone of authority. Like, it is important to read for the writing style rather than the content; it is a classic example of how those with concerns in these sports try to use authoritative ranting as if it was substantive discourse to a point. The only "data" (and we use the term VERY loosely) supplied is regarding athletes known for their drug use who belong to a system known for it's drug-use falsehoods. They literally picked the most egregious examples as if they were norms. The rest of the time they hand us what amount to "ideas" and "shit we heard" as if they were data-supported facts. This is the kind of writing common to our sports, and common to the fitness industry as a whole.
If you can slog through it (it's pretty obnoxious and rather boring) have a look. It's wlays good for an eye-roll if nothing else.