by Anthony Roberts ~ source
Several years ago I was contracted to work on a precontest drug cycle for a European couple who were competing in a series of drug tested physique contests, her in figure, him in bodybuilding. For her, the show would be a national qualifier, after which (if she won) she intended on competing at the national level. His goal was simply to compete and place well, but not to move on to the national level.
The contest, they explained, wasn’t about seeing who could build the best drug-free physique, but rather to see who could beat the drug tests – it was an open secret among competitors. It was the first time I really cared about beating a drug test, since I typically work with two categories of athletes: drug free and non-drug-tested. I’d never had the opportunity or need to worry about helping an athlete beat any kind of drug test.
For him, the problem was pretty straightforward: beat the test and move on to a standard Post-cycle therapy. For her the problem was more unique, as it involved beating a drug test, followed by competing at the national level four weeks later, and beating another drug test. It’s difficult enough to peak twice within four weeks, but additionally so when dealing with the inconvenience of drug testing.
Some of the more astute (or cynical) readers might be thinking that I’m changing details here – i.e. that the contest was really in the United States, where I live. I assure you these contests took place in a Nordic country located in Europe, and the testing protocol was the one used by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and was administered by an accredited lab. What country? Let’s just say that it’s cold there, and there are a lot of blonde guys walking around.
Let’s take a look at Thor’s cycle:
The testosterone component of this cycle made use of tapering doses and tapering esters; he started with a long ester (cypionate) and tapered to propionate on week seven and suspension on week 13. He dropped the testosterone completely ten days out from the contest, which is when he dropped his growth hormone use, which was constant at 4iu/day. A hundred micrograms of IGF—1Lr3 was used in a two week on, one week off manner, stacked with MGF at 200mcgs shot into his lagging body parts. He competed at the end of week 16, with nothing at all in his system for the ten days prior.
Luckily, there was no out of season testing to contend with, and there were no surprises – the top places in each class were tested immediately after stepping off stage, and 24 hours later they were informed of the results. Also adding to my good fortune is that this was an amateur contest, that my clients weren’t terribly out of shape when they started their precontest phase, and they weren’t steroid-insensitive. This last part is important because it means that these people weren’t running huge doses of gear all-year round, and they were going to get results with minimal doses; a half gram of testosterone is going to clear your system more quickly than a gram.
Another factor working in my favor was the fact that the WADA doesn’t care about physique competitors; they’d be happier if they didn’t see steroid-fueled monsters staring back at them from the magazine rack of their local news stand, but in truth they don’t put much effort into testing sports where there isn’t a ton of money. Consider:
In 2007, Victor Martinez took first place at the Arnold Classic and won $100,000 in cash, the same amount won by Ayan Tariq, for winning the Madden Challenge video game contest. Ayan currently lives in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, a short distance from The Hudson County Correctional Facility where Victor currently resides.
In 2010 when Ben White won the Tampa Pro Bodybuilding contest, he took home half as much money as Joey Chestnut, who won Nathan’s annual hot dog eating contest in Coney Island, NY.
What’s my point? My point is that WADA doesn’t much care about policing sports that can’t pay them millions of dollars to appear clean, so they’re not concerned with bodybuilding. But more specifically, they’re not concerned with things like thyroid medication, which is a must-have drug for precontest physique athletes, but isn’t on WADA’s prohibited substances list. So that means my clients could use as much T3 or T4 as they wanted. Unfortunately, even legal stimulants like ephedrine and methylhexaneamine are banned, so that needs to be taken into account…and anyone looking at beating a drug test would be well advised to actually know what’s on it.
Testosterone, IGF-1, MGF, and Growth Hormone are naturally occurring hormones, so their inclusion in a drug-tested cycle is a no-brainer. Obviously I relied on testosterone as the primary anabolic in this kind of cycle for a man. And since the drug testing only needed to be defeated on one specific date, fast acting orals were an easy choice also, as was the short-estered masteron. Injectable Primobolan (Methenolone Ananthate) takes a couple of couple of months to clear, so while it could be used four months out, it needed to be dropped relatively quickly.
However, for a woman, the focus changes, because testosterone isn’t going to be an option. Here’s how our Valkyrie’s cycle looked:
For her, peptides were the mainstay of the precontest cycle. She used 2iu of Growth Hormone every other day, along with 50mcg of IGF-1Lr3 and 100mcg of MGF post workout. Every third week she stopped using the IGF and MGF, except for the final three weeks before the contest, where she stayed on all of it until ten days out, at which point she dropped everything. Both competitors used T4 and not T3, since they were using GH.
Dropping GH and IGF ten days out of a contest is fairly standard because both of those compounds can cause water retention – which isn’t a big deal until you get to the really low body fat percentages, where it starts to become obvious. Both competitors used an aromatase inhibitor (letrozole) until two weeks out, at .5mgs/day tapering to .25mgs/day and both competitors used Clenbuterol until two weeks out. They both used herbal diuretics in the four days before the contest, which not only helped them appear more ripped, but also helped them rid their body of any lingering metabolites from the drugs they’d been using.
This was several years ago, so the sensitivity of various doping tests might have improved, and detection times may have shifted slightly in favor of the white hats, but I doubt it. Testosterone, Growth Hormone, and IGF are more or less untestable as long as you’re sensible about it, and avoid using them too close to the testing date.
So how did my clients do? He won his class but not the overall, and she won both her class and the overall. Both tested clean, although it made for an incredibly stressful 24 hours, knowing that they could have been stripped of their placings. Because I’d never helped anyone beat a drug test before, I agreed to help them for free, making no promises as to whether I’d be able to design a cycle with the dual utility of getting them in top shape, but remaining undetectable.
With four weeks left until nationals, I had her go back on the peptides and once again drop them completely with ten days to go. She ended up taking the national title for her height class and testing clean for the second time in a month. Mission accomplished and a happy ending for everyone involved, right? Wrong. She walked away with a national title, and shortly afterwards, her boyfriend ended up getting busted for receiving a large shipment of steroids in the mail, for which he spent about a month in prison.
About the Author:
Anthony Roberts holds a BA in both English and Philosophy, is the author of Anabolic Steroids: Ultimate Research Guide and Beyond Steroids, and is a staff writer for Muscle Evolution and a contributor to Muscle Insider. He’s a certified trainer and coach as well as having worked as a formulator in the nutritional industry. He is a member in good standing of the Society for Professional Journalists.