BALCO founder and Barry Bonds reputation destroyer Victor Conte recently did an interview with Shitdog radio in which he explains that he is totally anti-steroids and wants to eliminate them from athletic competition, and indeed, the entire universe. Because if he can’t supply them, then NO ONE WILL. Specifically, he advocates the use of Carbon Isotope Ratio testing to see whether the testosterone in an athlete’s system is artificial or not.
The traditional method of seeing whether someone’s testosterone was or wasn’t produced by his own balls is to measure the T/E ratio, or that between testosterone and epitestosterone. Human sweetmeats naturally produce equal amounts of T and E, but people who inject their jawbreakers with artificial testosterone can have ratios much higher. The T/E ratio limit under the World Anti-Doping Agency is 4:1, and the T/E ratio issue was enough throw fighters like Chael Sonnen into WWE theatrics at athletic commission hearings.
But the T/E ratio is a rough measure, because normal family jewels can vary in the amounts of each they produce, and people can still rub a little bit of artificial testosterone into their loins every now and then and not get caught. For the average person, about 75% of the testosterone in his clackers can be artificial, and he can still pass the 4:1 ratio test.
But if the carbon in your testosterone has different isotopes from other compounds inside your system, you can be proven guilty even if your T/E ratio has equilibrated. His advocacy of Carbon Isotope Ratio testing means that Conte is so anti-steroids that he wants to count your neutrons to make sure that you’re clean. He’s so against people using “fast-acting gels and creams and water-based testosterone” (which of course he knows nothing about and would never tell anyone to use) that he’s literally going nuclear about it.
Although the irony of the founder of BALCO trying to make steroid use MORE detectable is lost on no one, I suppose that there is no one better to clue us into the ins and outs of a typical performance enhancing drug regimen and advise us on how to catch people. But we have to think that he is either holding some things in reserve for his new clients or trying to bring everyone else down to his new clients’ level. After spending four months in prison, he’s probably migrated to the realm of the less-quasi-illegal supplements, and to keep everyone else even with his new client, Kyle Kingsbury, he’s taking no prisoners.
In the spirit of disclosure, even though I used to poke fun at and make funny pictures of Kingsbury’s last opponent, Stephan Bonnar, because he used horse steroids, I myself have taken MusclePharm’s “Battle Fuel”. I ordered it after finding out that the stuff contains 20x strength suma root, which contains B-ecdysterone, a legal, natural steroid whose primary metabolite is 20-Hydroxyecdysone. (Yes, MusclePharm is the official steroid supplier of the UFC.) 20-Hydroxyecdysone controls molting and metamorphosis in animals with exoskeletons.
I figured that insect hormones must be the way to go. I could sprout myself a human-sized crab shell and could become impervious to all damage; my kicks would be so much better if I had six legs; and if I went into a cocoon and sprouted wings, I would have a huge advantage. After I popped the first daily dose of six pills I indeed started to feel a little different… and then I did nothing but jack off for the next seven hours.
So I found out first-hand that LEGAL supplements do not enhance the right type of performance. But testosterone, on the other hand, enhances one’s ability to compete in sports. If that enhancement makes one better able to smash someone else’s face in, problems arise. So we’d be well advised to buy what Conte’s selling, even if he probably also sells about 20 ways to circumvent those tests.