Kevin Ferguson, the street fighter turned mixed martial arts attraction better known as “Kimbo Slice”, doesn’t agree with the anti-doping programs that have resulted in the disqualification of numerous MMA athletes over the past several months – including himself. He thinks there is a better approach to performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) – let them use their steroids.
Ferguson doesn’t believe steroids are necessarily a dangerous epidemic plaguing the sport. He doesn’t think stringent measures should be taken to eliminate PEDs from MMA.
Ferguson is one of the few people in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) to actually advocate the use of anabolic steroids in combat sports. MMA athletes who use a “little extra vitamins” are a good thing for the sport.
Ferguson laid out his argument advocating the use of steroids in sports during an interview with Ground and Pound TV in April 2016. His argument was based on his believe that professional athletes are entertainers and fans expect superhuman performances from those paid to entertain them. Consequently, athletes must train at extreme levels that necessitate pharmacological support. This is especially true of older athletes who need the “extra vitamins” to facilitate recovery.
“We’re fighters man, we’re a little bit older than normal, we’re on a professional level of entertainment. You gotta look at athletes, like really professional athletes, and officers, and fire fighters, who really put their bodies and themselves through what’s not the norm.”
The guys with the normal desk job and the couch potatoes at home can suffice with normal testosterone levels. But the extreme efforts from elite athletes need high levels of hormonal support in order to meet the expectations of professional competition according to Ferguson.
“Like, the average guy would be at the desk or at the TV for example, his testosterone levels don’t need to be that high, because he’s just chilling at his job. But when you’re working a job, when you’re an entertainer, when you put your body through some serious workout, I think your levels should be a little bit above normal, because you gotta be able to compete on a professional level.”
Ferguson believes the anti-doping movement’s punitive approach to athlete’s caught using PEDs is the wrong approach. They shouldn’t be suspended or “blackballed”.
“I don’t think the commissioners should really blackball fighters for having to use a little extra vitamins to perform. ‘Cause we’re entertainers. We perform on a high level. We put our body through some extreme workout to entertain the public and the media.”
Ferguson suggested threshold testing as an alternative to the current “zero tolerance” approach currently in vogue with most anti-doping regimes. For example, instead of categorically banning the use of testosterone, this would permit the use of testosterone such that blood levels are at or below a certain agreed-upon supraphysiologic threshold.
“The commissioners should sit down and come to an agreement on what levels should be okay. You understand where I’m coming from? The levels should be okay for professional entertainers on that level. You know, not so much like some guy who’s doing this for a living. We’re not those guys. We’re just performing for a certain time. So yes, our levels should be just a little bit above normal. That should be okay in the professional world.”
Of course, few people will ever take Ferguson seriously. His opinion will likely be dismissed as justification for his own failed drug tests at Bellator 149 in February 2016. Ferguson tested positive for both nandrolone (Deca Durabolin) and testosterone.
Nonetheless, it is good to know that some athletes are thinking outside the box and speaking their minds instead of repeating the talking points of their promotions.