A Tan­gled Web

Men's Health (UK) - - Time -

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.


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