Is Olympic Sprinter Usain Bolt on Steroids?
As we prepare to watch the 2012 Olympic Track and Field events, all eyes are squarely on Jamaican sprinter and world record holder Usain Bolt to see if he can match or surpass his blindingly fast times from the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. But does anyone care to investigate whether the world’s greatest sprinter — Usain Bolt is on steroids?
Usain Bolt’s Record Breaking History
In those 2008 Games, Bolt shocked the world by smashing the world record in the 100m and 200m races, becoming the first sprinter to ever crack the 9.7s barrier by running a 9.69s (including the early celebration that began 5m prior to the finish line) in the 100m and a 19.30s in the 200m. The following year at the 2009 World Championships, Bolt lowered his time in the 100m to a seemingly impossible 9.58s and in the 200m to a mind-numbing 19.19s.
The Case in Favor of Usain Bolt’s Steroid Use
In the three years since smashing two of the most famous world records in 2009, we haven’t heard much from Usain Bolt. Rumors of injuries and relationships kept him largely out of the public eye until he re-appeared on the scene at the 2011 World Championships, where he ran a more modest 19.40s in the 200m before anchoring a world record-breaking 400m relay for the Jamaican Team.
Since 2009, Bolt hasn’t come close to touching any of his records and his performance at the 2012 Olympic Trials (in which he ran a mortal 9.86s in the 100m and 19.83s in the 200m) seemed to indicate that his best times are well behind him.
But that would ignore the entire process of steroid cycling.
As everyone who understands steroids knows, athletes utilize Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) pursuant to a cycle that seeks to slowly elevate testosterone and growth hormone levels (and corresponding to an increase in performance) to a peak that is concurrent with a competition.
How Usain Bolt and other Olympic Sprinters Can Beat Olympic Drug Testing
A typical PED cycle would begin 12 weeks out from competition with the target date being the day prior to or of the competition. Along with the use of undetectable steroids and daily growth hormone injections, the athlete would also have his blood drawn on a daily basis to monitor his testosterone and rhGH ratios in an effort to keep them within Olympic World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) testing limits. Close monitoring of these ratios allow an Olympic sprinter such as Bolt to both use PEDs up to the day of competition while still comfortably submitting to multiple drug tests.
This isn’t evidence particular to Usain Bolt, as it could just as easily describe the protocol that every Olympic sprinter is using to pass the drug tests. However, it is mentioned simply to point out how easily Olympic athletes are able to pass an Olympic-level drug test, even with the highest levels of scrutiny. The bottom line is that if an athlete is within the permissible testosterone and rhGH ratios, he is deemed clean. The reality is that any athlete who doesn’t maximize his testosterone and rhGH levels to the maximum permissible level has no chance of breaking a world record.
For example, let’s assume that a talented NCAA sprinter has a testosterone ratio (testosterone: epitestosterone) of 1:1 which is considered normal, or average. The current WADA guidelines permit a ratio of up to 4:1. Given the fact that the only way for an NCAA sprinter to make any money sprinting is to win international competitions and garner endorsements, what reason could that NCAA sprinter possibly have for NOT quadrupling his testosterone ratio up to the maximum of 4:1? Using a number of undetectable steroid compounds, that same athlete would presumably see a major improvement in his sprint times without ever ‘testing positive’.
And this is the folly of drug testing: It gives ‘dirty’ athletes all the ammunition they need to proclaim themselves ‘clean’ — replete with Olympic level testing results.
Passing an Olympic Drug Test Does Not Make Usain Bolt ‘Clean’
The worst argument that anyone can make for Usain Bolt being a clean athlete is that he has yet to fail a steroid or other drug test, despite being subjected to rigorous drug testing protocols.
The reality is that most Olympic athletes have their blood levels so closely monitored that only an egregious miscalculation in the timing of a steroid injection or use of a masking agent (i.e. diuretics) to dilute the levels of a steroid within the blood would result in a positive test. This is the only reason why we rarely see positive tests for Olympic level athletes.
International steroid expert Anthony Roberts told Muscleweek: “With regards to fooling the Olympic drug tests, many of the same loopholes that existed ten to twenty years ago still exist today. Until those loopholes are closed, there will always be a shadow of doubt falling on the Olympics.”
Roberts continued, “Testosterone, hGH and most of the other highly potent anabolics are virtually undetectable — when we see a positive test and a tearfully apologetic athlete, he or she probably represents less than 1% of those who are actually using banned substances.”
Olympic Drug Testing is a Joke
United States Olympic Gold Medalist Marion Jones proudly proclaimed that she passed more than 160 drug tests in her career. The fact remains that she won three gold medals at the 2000 Olympics while passing the supposedly stringent requirements of Olympic WADA testing.
And yet, despite breaking world records in the 100m and 200m sprints; despite being romantically involved with and coached by Olympic shot-putter CJ Hunter who tested positive for steroids four times leading up to the 2000 Olympics and was subsequently banned by the ITAF; despite being romantically involved with and coached by Olympic sprinter Tim Montgomery who tested positive for steroids and was subsequently banned; despite training under track coach Trevor Graham who has been banned for life from track and field; and despite her affiliation with BALCO Labs and the insistence of BALCO president Victor Conte who admitted to injecting Marion Jones with steroids, the general public and sports ‘journalists’ were still gullible enough to believe that Marion Jones was in fact, a ‘clean athlete.’
As Marion Jones proved, testing ‘clean’ means absolutely nothing.
Usain Bolt’s Track ‘Coach’ is a Steroid Expert
Interestingly (and perhaps damningly) in making a case against Usain Bolt, a fact that is often ignored is that the man who worked with Victor Conte at Balco Labs and later testified against CJ Hunter, Tim Montgomery, Marion Jones, and yes — current 2012 U.S. Olympic sprinter Justin Gatlin– was a man by the name of Angel Heredia. Prior to working at BALCO, Angel Heredia was a national discus champion for Mexico. In the case against BALCO and Graham, he is referred to as ‘Source A’ and his testimony against BALCO athletes in verifying the documents that detailed the drug schedules for those athletes was crucial in obtaining convictions or confessions from those individuals.
But BALCO drug guru Angel Heredia never served a day in prison.
Even more suspiciously, sometime after 2008, Angel Heredia legally changed his name to Angel Hernandez.
Pop Quiz: Why would Angel Heredia change his name to Angel Hernandez?
Answer: Usain Bolt hired the new incarnation of Angel Heredia to become his track ‘coach’ in 2009. Unfortunately for Mr. Heredia, Google Search can be a terrible thing for a man with a past like Angel.
Here is a video of Usain Bolt’s track coach Angel Heredia (Hernandez) obtaining steroids in Mexico and injecting growth hormone on camera for a German documentary:
And a small piece of the interview transcript from German publication Der Spiegel’s 2008 interview with Angel Hernandez:
SPIEGEL: Mr. Heredia, will you watch the 100 meter final in Beijing?
Heredia: Of course. But the winner will not be clean. Not even any of the contestants will be clean. (emphasis added)
SPIEGEL: Of eight runners …
Heredia: … eight will be doped.
SPIEGEL: There is no way to prove that.
Heredia: There is no doubt about it. The difference between 10.0 and 9.7 seconds is the drugs.
Bolt’s Coach is more of a Chemist than a Coach
According to the New York Times, Usain Bolt’s track coach Angel Hernandez has referred to himself as a chemist, scientist and nutritionist.
Pop Quiz #2: Why would the world’s top ‘natural’ sprinter need the services of a chemist affiliated with BALCO and multiple dirty sprinters?
Answer: A logical response would be that Usain Bolt isn’t any more ‘clean’ than Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin, Ben Johnson, Tim Montgomery, or even Jamaican-born U.S. sprinter Debbie Dunn — who bowed out of the 2012 Olympics just days prior to the opening ceremonies when she tested positive for a testosterone derivative.
Logic would seem to dictate that sprinters need sprint coaches, not chemists. But no, Usain Bolt needs a chemist.
Just as those aforementioned sprinters who have broken track records before have.
Because a great sprint coach could never help a track athlete as much as a great chemist can. Here’s more from Usain’s ‘coach’ explaining his precise skill set as it applies to ‘coaching’ in that 2008 interview:
SPIEGEL: So you became a therapist for the athletes in matters of drugs?
Heredia: More like a coach. Together we found out what was good for which body and what the decomposition times were. I designed schedules for cocktails and regimens that depended on the money the athletes offered me. Street drugs for little money, designer drugs for tens of thousands. Usually I sent the drugs by mail, but sometimes the athletes came to me.
Still not convinced? Consider this New York Times article from 2008 that documented how Angel Heredia (Hernandez) was on the payroll of no less than 12 Olympic level athletes, including Olympic Gold Medalist Sprinter Maurice Greene (detecting a pattern here, no?):
In recent interviews with The New York Times, Mr. Heredia described how and with whom he worked, sharing copies of records that appear to link him to many of the best sprinters of the last decade. Those records include e-mail exchanges of doping regimens, canceled checks, telephone recordings, shipping records, laboratory readings of blood and urine samples, and Justice Department documents.
Among his clients, Mr. Heredia identified 12 athletes who had won a combined 26 Olympic medals and 21 world championships. Four of the 12 athletes, including Ms. Jones, had been named and barred from competition for illicit drug use. Eight of the 12 — notably, the sprinter Maurice Greene — have never been previously linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
Mr. Greene, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a five-time world champion, has never failed a drug test.
Mr. Heredia showed The Times a copy of a bank transaction form showing a $10,000 wire transfer from a Maurice Greene to a relative of Mr. Heredia’s; two sets of blood-test lab reports with Mr. Greene’s name and age on them; and an e-mail message from a close friend and track-club teammate of Mr. Greene’s, attaching one of the lab reports and saying, “Angel, this is maurices results sorry it took so long.
Why would an athlete’s own ‘coach’, errr, I mean ‘chemist’ be testing his own athlete’s blood?
Well, if you believe the ‘coaches’, it’s to analyze the blood and determine if there are any deficits in any areas that may need to be addressed. But a chemist would just tell you that it’s to confirm that the testosterone and ghGH ratios are within the legal limits. Who would you believe?
Would you believe Usain Bolt’s coach? If so, then you might want to consider this, from the same Times Article:
Mr. Heredia, 33, a former Mexican national discus champion, is a secretive figure on the track circuit who describes himself as a chemist, scientist and nutritionist. The son of a chemist, Mr. Heredia received an undergraduate degree in kinesiology from Texas A&M in Kingsville, records show.
He said he used family connections to pharmacies and labs in Mexico to help his business. For years, Mr. Heredia said, he helped his clients flout the rules and easily avoided detection. Substances like human growth hormone and the blood booster erythropoietin, or EPO, are still virtually impossible to detect, and “it is still easy to use testosterone” with fast-acting creams, he said.
“You combine all these things — boom! — you get amazing results,” Mr. Heredia said.
Amazing, indeed. Earlier today, Usain Bolt just became the first Olympic athlete to repeat winning Gold in the 100m and 200m sprints. His times of 9.63s in the 100m and 19.32 in the 200m are his best times since the 2009 World Championships and after his 200m victory, he boldly declared that he is “the greatest athlete who ever lived.”
It probably doesn’t hurt that he just happens to have “the greatest chemist who ever lived” right there in his corner.