Alistair Overeem and Steroids: An Affair to Remember

When MMA super champ Alistair Overeem was pounded with questions about the way his physique seemed to get conditioned a bit faster than his other colleagues, he said it was from a steady diet of weight lifting, protein, and horse meat. Speculation about his use of steroids by the time he turned heavyweight from light heavyweight remained just that, speculation.

Those whispers would eventually be drowned by Overeem’s signing contract with UFC in 2011. Demolition Man began to pile wins after another once more. Until that ill-fated, unannounced pre-fight failed a drug test in 2012 prior to a title bout against UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos. It then turned official. Former K-1 Grand Prix champion Overeem was on steroids. The horse meat that helped him beat champions is fueled by testosterone. The acceptable T/E ratio for the competition is 6-1. Overeem overshot at 14-1. The normal average joe would have a 1 to 1 ratio.

A month after he tested positive with steroids, Overeem released an apology statement and explained that: “Prior to the UFC 146 press conference in March, I aggravated an old rib injury on my left side. My doctor prescribed, and I accepted, an anti-inflammatory medication that was mixed with testosterone. I was completely unaware that testosterone was one of the ingredients in the medication. Although I was unaware, I do realize it is my job to know what I am putting into my body.”

After testing negative in three drug tests spread within his 9-month suspension, Overeem got clearance from the Nevada State Athletic Commission to fight in UFC 156 – which he lost against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in Las Vegas. Although Overeem looked the same as chiseled when he fought, and lost, to Silva, everyone has the right to be worried.

Steroid withdrawal can turn an aggressive predator into sluggish prey. Prompted at the request of Nevada Commission Executive Director Keith Keizer, Overeem took a blood test. The result was overwhelming. The hunk frame of Alistair Overeem that once has a high level of steroid testosterone, now came back with a testosterone level considered to be “dangerously low for a competitive athlete.”

The only way for anyone, athlete or not, to go back to normal efficient stamina is a prescription of testosterone. Given the history of Overeem’s steroid use, the possibility of being granted an exemption is clearly against the Commission’s policy that spells out that if low testosterone is caused by withdrawal from steroids, the exemption is out of the question, even if it means re-energizing Overeem’s stamina and saving Overeem’s career, and life for that matter.

Moreover, the standing policy has raised controversy with the scenario now surrounding Overeem as “there is no real way to prove what low testosterone came from, whether it was due to usage of steroids, or a different medical issue.”

Overeem’s name in combat sports history as being the only fighter to hold both MMA and K-1 kickboxing world titles at the same time has been totally obliterated by his affair and abuse of steroids. Some say that if he had only come clean about his steroid use, instead of saying that he was totally unaware and ignorant of it, despite his unbelievable transformation, his fans could have been more understanding.

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