Courtesy of cagepotato.com
The revelation of a UFC Hall of Famer’s past steroid use promised by HDNet’s “Inside MMA” became pretty anticlimactic on Friday when the fighter in question turned out to be Ken Shamrock. While Shamrock’s taped interview during a segment of the show called “Fighting Words with Mike Straka” marked his first public admission of cheating, the MMA pioneer has long been rumored to dabble in the juice and tested positive for banned substances following his most recent victory – a submission win over the now-deceased Ross Clifton in Feb. of 2009 — so the news came as a surprise to exactly no one.
More interesting than the actual confession were Shamrock’s contentions that steroids are so easy to get it’s “like going to the grocery store,” and that fans should shoulder at least some of the responsibility for athletes turning to performance enhancers.
“They want home runs, baby,” Shamrock said. “They want people jacking them out of the park. But then when they find out about (steroids) they want to stick their heads in the sand and say, ‘How bad, that was stupid, you’re crazy, don’t let him in the hall of fame.’ It’s like, let’s point the finger … Nobody wants to take responsibility, but everyone wants to see it.”
How the words “nobody wants to take responsibility” managed to come out of Shamrock’s mouth during the above quote without the sheer irony of it striking him deaf and dumb, we’ll never know.
Steroids emerged as a minor subplot in this week’s MMA news after both Josh Koscheck and Georges St. Pierre said they’d be in favor of Olympic-style drug testing prior to their title fight in December and journeyman Dennis Hallman appeared on the same episode of “Inside MMA” as Shamrock to claim 50 percent of fighters are on steroids and that using PEDs is “just like if you have a headache, you take an aspirin to make yourself feel better.”
While Hallman’s logic might be flawed – the aspirin-as-steroids analogy falls flat because aspirin doesn’t make you smarter – his numbers (while probably a touch high) might be closer to accurate than any of us would like to believe. After all, in a sport where half a fighter’s salary is often tied to whether he wins or loses, fighters are often mocked for taking time off to rehab injuries and drug tests are either non-existent (as in the case of HGH) or remarkably easy to beat, it’d be naïve to think they’re not looking for every possible competitive advantage.
For his part, UFC President Dana White – who, let’s face it, certainly wouldn’t profit from tougher drug testing – told Koscheck to “shut up” this week with any implication that St. Pierre could be on the gas.
“I think that’s what an athletic commission is for,” White said. “The athletic commissions have been around for a long time. When fighters start talking about other guys being drug tested? Shut up. Worry about you.”
Koscheck later apologized for his remarks about St. Pierre, though he added that “media stories on comments I made about rumors of GSP are in no way factual.” That being the case, it remains unclear what he was apologizing about.
Shamrock is reported to have a fight scheduled later this summer with Australia’s Impact FC.