Bodybuilding is not an easy job. You need a strict diet, a disciplined routine, and persistence. Mr Olympia is an elite competition, the pinnacle of competitive bodybuilding. There is one question that often comes to the fans' mind: Do these giants use any shortcuts to get there or does the competition allow them to use it?
At Mr Olympia's level, you need a perfect combination of genetics, training, diet, and drugs to excel. It is important to check any kind of unfair advantage. IFFB (The International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness) is an organization that checks for the use of any kind of unfair advantage.
In 2004, IFFB made a World Anti-Doping Code, which comprised a list of all the prohibited drugs. The list is regulated by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). The FDA updates its list on January 1st every year.
List of Prohibited drugs by the IFFB
Overdoses of anabolic steroids can cause concerning side effects. Many bodybuilders use anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) dosed into the supraphysiologic range (b/w 2,000 to 5,000 mg total androgen intake per week). Acute myocardial infarction, suicide, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and hepatic coma are a few causes of death due to supraphysiological use of steroids.
These findings support the view that banning the use of AAS is justified.
The most frequently taken steroids are: oxymesterone, testosterone, oxymetholone, stanozolol, oxandrolone, and nandrolone. The last-mentioned is one of the most used drugs.
Peptide hormones, stimulants, narcotics, anabolic agents, mimetics, diuretics, masking agents
Diuretics help in diluting urine. These kinds of drugs cause irregular heartbeats or Cardiac arrhythmias. It is one of the major factors of ineligibility in sports.
Beta-2-agonists help in increasing muscle mass and physical strength. Salbutamol, salmeterol, formoterol, terbutaline, and clenbuterol are few of the major agonists.
Growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor
These are other types of drugs that athletes use to gain muscle mass, heart performance, and to increase stamina. So far, no side effects have been known to growth hormones, but there was an increase in mortality rates among those who consumed it.
Use of stimulants like cocaine, amphetamines (ephedrine, methylephedrine, pseudoephedrine, caffeine, and related substances) help in improving performance and increasing aggressiveness.
EPO increases haemoglobin and red cell levels, thus enhancing oxygen transfer and tissue availability. The increase in the RBCs can cause an increase in blood viscosity. Problems like hypertension and leukemia can also happen.
Glucocorticoids help in improving strength and stamina and also help in improving exercise duration. However, they can have severe side effects such as obesity, osteoporosis, immuno-deficiency, metabolic disorders, hyperglycemia and hypertension.
History of Mr Olympia
The IFBB was founded by brothers Ben and Joe Weider under the name 'International Federation of Bodybuilders'. Ben Weider became its first President.
The first Mr Olympia was held in 1965 when Larry Scott from the US emerged as the winner. IFBB has consistently tried to get itself into the Olympics but has not been successful till now.
Lee Hanley and Ronnie Coleman have won the contest eight times each, the most in the competition's history. Hadi Choopan is the reigning champion at Mr Olympia.