During an appearance on MMAFighting’s The MMA Hour on Tuesday, Krzysztof Soszynski made a somewhat surprising revelation that at least 85 to as many as 96% percent of MMA athletes use some form of performance enhancing drug. According to the veteran fighter, you can tell by looking at a fighter’s physique who is and who isn’t using and he would know, considering that prior to becoming a fighter he competed in professional bodybuilding and spent a few years as a pro wrestler.
Although he stopped short of actually saying that he had anabolic help building his hulking physique, “The Polish Experiment” said that he has never used illegal substances since he began fighting.
“Back in the days when I was a bodybuilder, obviously it was a little different, but for mixed martial arts, I don’t [use PEDs],” he told host Ariel Helwani. I don’t believe in it.”
By Soszynski’s estimation then, at least 227 of the UFC’s 267 fighters are using chemicals to cheat — which is crazy if true.
Having trained at a few gyms from Team Tompkins in Canada to Team Quest and now Reign Training Centre in California, the Polish-born Canada-raised light heavyweight has been around a lot of fighters and says he’s been offered a lot of different substances to aid in recovery, muscle building and weight loss.
“I even had someone talk to me about stem cell injections. You’re looking at stuff like EPO and at least five or six different counterfeit drugs out there that people are using and they’re not even detectable in the body,” he explains. “It’s just amazing to me how far athletes are willing to go to make their mark in this sport.”
Although he maintains that he doesn’t partake in any of the drugs he knows other fighters do, Soszynski says that the temptation to cheat increases as the monetary incentives go up.
“If there’s a substance you can take out there that’s going to make you bigger, stronger, more explosive, going to help you train harder, going to help you train longer and it’s going to help with your recovery as well and you know if you take it the right way and follow the right instructions you’ll never get caught for it, wouldn’t you take it?”
A better question is, why would fighters ever stop using PEDs if the promotions don’t seem to really take a hard stance with those caught red handed?