A Tangled Web
One could argue that the legitimacy of these particular products is not the most significant point here. In many respects, the damage is already done. Arnold’s absence from the field has done little to halt the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs. Just this year, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky found themselves embroiled in a long investigation into alleged wrongdoing. So, too, did Mo Farah and his coach, Alberto Salazar. Elsewhere, Russia’s entire 2014 football World Cup squad is under investigation by Fifa, over drug allegations. Most recently, a proposal submitted to the IAAF by European Athletics aims to annul all track and field records prior to 2005, when the latest anti-doping standards took effect. Nicole Sapstead of the UK Anti-doping Agency, claims that drug use, at every level of sport, “is fast becoming a crisis”.
Now, having made his indelible mark on the professional sporting sphere, Arnold is targeting a fecund market of ordinary, albeit determined, men. But with or without him, thousands of men in the UK – and millions worldwide – will continue to dose with steroids. Veterinary steroids, diverted steroids, many of poor quality or unknown origin – there is a growing company of men who are willing to improve their appearance at any cost.
Were Arnold to step out of the picture for good, others – perhaps with far less of an understanding of chemistry, no matter how rogue – would fill his place. Meanwhile, the World Anti-doping Agency will still spend millions of dollars chasing down the athletes and chemists responsible. With his previous record, Arnold’s new ventures are likely to be held up to the highest level of scrutiny, arguably making the case that when it comes to purchasing performanceenhancing concoctions, it may be better to deal with the devil you know. Either way, if this latest venture ends up being Arnold’s curtain call, his legacy will be much more complex than simply that of the man who ruined sport.