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Ken Shamrock: Steroids should be absolutely legal

By Zach Arnold | June 14, 2010

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KENNY RICE: “Now we start off with the four letter word in the sport it’s spelled a little longer than that but it’s that s-word, steroids, or any kind of performance-enhancing drug. One of the major sports that it still has put over a shadow over is baseball, of course. Well, what about the world of MMA? Recently on Fighting Words with Mike Straka, one of the legends of the sport, he’s in the UFC Hall of Fame, this probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone, after all he has tested for it, but Ken Shamrock talks about his steroid use.”

MIKE STRAKA: “You know, there’s a cliché in fighting if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”

KEN SHAMROCK: “That’s right.”

MIKE STRAKA: “Let’s talk about it. Have you done steroids?”

KEN SHAMROCK: “Absolutely.”

MIKE STRAKA: “Do you still do steroids?”




MIKE STRAKA: “How easy is it to get steroids?”

KEN SHAMROCK: (laughs) “It’s like going to the grocery store. It’s that easy. It’s that simple.

“But when start trying to make things bigger and better, you’re going to get yourself hurt.”

MIKE STRAKA: “What did the fans want, though? They want bigger and better.”

KEN SHAMROCK: “They want homeruns, baby. They want people jacking them out of the park but then when they find out about it they want to stick their hand in the sand, ‘oh how bad, that was stupid, why’d you do that? You’re crazy. Don’t let them in the Hall of Fame!’ It’s like, let’s point the finger because if we don’t point the finger at somebody else, we have to point it at ourselves because… we knew. So, nobody wants to takes responsibility, but everybody wants to see it. And that’s the way it’s always going to be and it always will be. Someone is going to take the fall, period.”

MIKE STRAKA: “You think steroids should be legal?”

KEN SHAMROCK: “Absolutely. Absolutely.”

KENNY RICE: “All right, interesting words from Ken Shamrock, using a little bit of baseball analogy there because when those guys were hitting homeruns nobody was too upset. After the fact now, 10 years or more later, they look back and go, ‘you were using steroids, we didn’t like that.’ You’re hitting homeruns out of the ball park. You know, Ken’s tested for this when he fought the guy, the real big guy (Ross Clifton), but you know when I what would be curious and we’ll certainly ask him when he comes on, did he ever use it at the peak of his career when he was a UFC champion, when he fought YOU or anybody else, that’s what I’m curious about. The guy that talk to admit to using it, when did they use it?”

BAS RUTTEN: “Well, you can tell by the body weight, right? I mean, when I fought him he was 245 and if he’s 205 now, well, that’s the thing. Maybe also he cuts down a lot to 205, but just his whole body looks bigger. You can look at the guys, it’s the small wrists, the pumped-up forearms, more like roundish sort of say, most of the time those guys have it and you can recognize them really fast. Most of the time it’s in the fight, they go hard hard hard hard, and then they go from all the way hard to all the way down and if they make a big drop like that, a lot of times steroids are at fault.”

Topics: Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 11 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

11 Responses to “Ken Shamrock: Steroids should be absolutely legal”

  1. MIchael Rome says:

    In a lot of ways, the current drug testing program the UFC is designed perfectly to fit what your average consumer is really looking for: a rubber stamp, joke of a system that allows them to believe their favorite athletes are clean.

    It gives everyone in the game plausible deniability. Fighters know how to beat the tests, Dana gets to claim they have the most stringent drug testing penalties of any sport, and fans outside the hardcores who really know get to carry on in blissful ignorance. This is not going to be disrupted, especially not by the anti-drug zealots at USADA.

    Should steroids be legal? Outside of athletic competition, in terms of just criminal policy, the answer is surely yes. Should sporting events ban them? Yes. Not because they’re really stopping use or doing anything to keep their athletes safer, but because they are doing what they need to do to keep their consumers happy and make money.

    There’s no reason in the world to believe that a crusade against drugs is going to work to stop steroid use when it does not work with any other drug. It’s all about the mirage. No athletic commission is going to stop drug use by willing users.

    • klown says:

      Mike, why do you say that steroids bands in athletic competition are what the consumers want? It seems there’s a lot of paradoxical sentiment in individual fans (wanting big, strong fighters while morally opposing steroids use) and contradictory sentiment among the fanbase at large (steroids are bad, steroids are OK, steroids are irrelevant).

      There is a lot of room for these views to be changed – through education, PR or broader cultural-political-legal changes in which drugs (PEDs or otherwise) can be reframed in a new light. For example, you advocate the legalization of PEDs outside of athletic competition, which is not currently the conventional wisdom on this topic. A world in which the conditions are in place for the legalization of drug use outside of sports is potentially a world in which consumers of athletic competition do not insist on drug-testing athletes.

  2. Chromium says:

    To be fair, drug testing at least catches the stupider dopers.

  3. Steve says:

    I agree with Ken that steroids should be legal. I despise maternalistic laws that try and tell people what is OK and what is not OK to put in their bodies. Unlike addictive drugs, steroids have no cost for society. People don’t get ‘hooked’ on steroids and start stealing from friends and relatives. Steroids don’t impair one’s ability to operate heavy machinery safely. Their negative effects are completely borne by the (ab)user. If somebody wants to take steroids, I say more power to ’em.

    However, I do not agree that they should allowed in professional sports. If you don’t ban PEDs, then PEDs become a cost of entry and are no longer a choice for anyone but the most freakish of natural athletes. No one should be forced to use steroids in order to perform at their job, and that is what you would see if you completely deregulated steroids in sports.

  4. kutti says:

    i agree..steroids should be legal. athletes should take´em under medical control. is lesnar clean ? is overeem clean ? sean sherk, v. sila etc ? come on. everyone takes em. so bring up standards in order to make mma more fair.

  5. Dissenter says:

    “Unlike addictive drugs, steroids have no cost for society. People don’t get ‘hooked’ on steroids and start stealing from friends and relatives. Steroids don’t impair one’s ability to operate heavy machinery safely. Their negative effects are completely borne by the (ab)user.”

    …until the user ends up needing an ambulance or in the ER because of some health condition brought on by steroids, and can’t pay the bill.

  6. The idea that you can somehow legalize steroids in MMA or sports in general and then control them afterwards is an incredibly stupid statement requiring gross ignorance to assume that its even possible. Regulating use means you have to still put limitations on the usage – maybe some are too dangerous? Some have really bad side effects? It won’t matter, because athletes will still seek them out if it means they will attain a performance advantage. That is, unless, you want to give them consistent doses of experimental designer steroids.

  7. Nicain says:

    Problem is, if you make them legal now everyone HAS to use them to compete. While I’m sure a bunch of the high end guys use them now, if they were legal-legal, everyone would be mandate to use them, which is the major problem. If they become legal they’d need to divide them into two divisions so you could compete without having to fuck up your body with drugs.

  8. […] HDNet show a few weeks ago. That was the show where Ken made his admission of steroid usage. (Read transcript here.) Shamrock said that the fans want to be entertained and that there are hypocrites in the media who […]

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