Six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates is the subject of a new documentary film called “Dorian Yates: Inside the Shadow”. Bodybuilding fans will find the film particularly refreshing thanks in part to Yates honesty about drug use in competitive bodybuilding.
Yates has become one of the most honest and outspoken former bodybuilding champions to discuss the topic of anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. While most successful bodybuilders have largely avoided and deflected questions about steroids, Yates has opened up considerably in recent years.
Known as “The Shadow” for his general introversion and career-long avoidance of the media, Yates may seem like an unlikely candidate to speech candidly about steroids in bodybuilding. Extraverted bodybuilding champions like Arnold Schwarzenegger who thrive on media attention and publicity try to talk about steroids as little as possible. But Yates hasn’t followed Arnold’s playbook.
Yates broke his silence on steroids in the October 2011 issue of Muscular Development magazine. Yates publicly revealed his first steroid stack along with a sample Mr. Olympia stack and off-season stack that he had used during his competition days.
Yates recalled using low dosages of Dianabol, Anavar and Primobolan for his very first steroid cycle before an early bodybuilding competition. As he advanced in bodybuilding, Yates reported using 8-week cycles of testosterone, Deca Durabolin and Dianabol as his preferred off-season cycle. And before the Mr. Olympia, Yates switched to testosterone propionate, Parabolan and Primobolan, Anavar and human growth hormone (hGH). But Yates’ claim that his cycles rarely exceeded 1500 milligrams total for any single week were met with a lot of skepticism. The reported 8IUs of hGH as part of his Mr. Olympia stack was more believable.
In 2011, Yates also first met London Real’s Brian Rose. Rose interviewed Yates several times since then and gave him a comfortable platform to open up and discuss his feelings about steroids and bodybuilding in considerable detail on camera. The relationship resulted in popular videos appearing on the London Real YouTube channel such as “Into the Shadow”, “Return of the Shadow” and eventually a more substantial full-featured documentary production “Dorian Yates: Inside the Shadow”.
Additional steroid commentary from Yates has been posted by Gary Chappell, the sports editor for the Daily Express (UK):
The Importance of Steroids in Bodybuilding
“I never see bodybuilding on the sports page and it is not considered to be a sport because of the drug question, because of steroids,” said Yates. “Steroids are used, they are an integral part of professional bodybuilding….
“But steroids are so widespread that guys are using them as a cosmetic improvement just as girls are getting a breast implants or botox.”
The Widespread Use of Steroid in Olympic Sports
“Does anyone seriously think there are no drugs in Olympic sports just because they do some kind of testing?” said Yates. “They are highly competitive sports with highly competitive people and, just with competitive business, people do whatever they can to get ahead…
“People see these guys on TV and it is all squeaky clean – but it would be so naive to think that if you could take something that would increase your performance by whatever, two per cent, five per cent, 10 per cent, one per cent, even half a per cent, it is not being used. People could not afford not to take it.”
Abolishing Drug Testing and Permitting Steroids in Sports
“It would be more honest if testing was abolished. With the drug tests throughout the ages, you actually create more of an imbalance because the people with the funding and the doctors can really avoid getting a positive [test] and they will be at a bigger advantage than someone from a poor country or with less facilities. So does testing make it a fairer or even sport?”
Steroids Don’t Make Champions
“There are two drawbacks to steroids; one is the potential health problems and the second one is it is very easy for people to dismiss everything you have put into it by saying, ‘yeah but he takes steroids, that’s why he looks like that’.
“Well obviously it is not because there are millions of people who take steroids and there are not millions of people who look like Mr Olympia. It gives you a certain advantage but years and years of hard work and years of sacrifice and dieting go into one of those physiques, so for people to dismiss that and not realise that is the main drawback. They do not make the champion.”