Before and After Pictures: Infamous Suspects of Steroid Use

Allegations of PED use have stripped Olympic medals, led to Hall of Fame snubs and even jail time.

May 3, 2018 5:00 am
Barry Bonds #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates talks to the media prior to a game against the Chicago Cubs in 1990 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.  (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Barry Bonds #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates talks to the media prior to a game against the Chicago Cubs in 1990 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Some of these athletes and entertainers have come clean about their use of performance enhancing drugs. Others insist they never took them—or if they did, it was only for medical reasons. Take a look at the before and after pictures of some of the most notorious suspected steroid users in popular culture.

Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds of the Pittsburgh Pirates. [circa 1986] (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

As the all-time home run leader, Barry Bonds is still waiting for his induction into the Hall of Fame. Though the Department of Justice dropped Bonds’ nearly decade-long steroids prosecution in 2015, many still believe he used steroids—and his long-time ex-girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, testified under oath in 2011 that the slugger attributed his 1999 elbow injury to steroid use.

“He had an injury on his elbow and it was a big lump on his elbow,” Bell said. “It looked really awful, and he said it was because of steroids. … somehow it caused the muscle and the tendons to grow faster than the joint itself could handle.”

Bonds has never publicly admitted to using steroids and said the DOJ’s 2015 decision “gives me great peace.”

“As I have said before, this outcome is something I have long wished for,” ESPN quotes Bonds saying. “I am relieved, humbled and thankful for what this means for me and my family moving forward.”

Barry Bonds leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Court House April 8, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)
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Arnold Schwarzenegger

Young bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger after winning a bodybuilding competition in Austria. [circa 1966] (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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There’s no guesswork with Arnold: He’s admitted that he used steroids in the 1960s and 1970s, and told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he wouldn’t change it if he could.

“I have no regrets about it,” said Schwarzenegger, “because at that time, it was something new that came on the market, and we went to the doctor and did it under doctors’ supervision. We were experimenting with it. It was a new thing. So you can’t roll the clock back and say, ‘Now I would change my mind on this.’”

However, Schwarzenegger has long made it clear that it’s not a “healthy” option for bodybuilders, and emphasized that he wants bodybuilding to be drug-free.

“Of course we want to keep the sport clean. It says ‘bodybuilding,’ not ‘body-destroying.’ It’s bodybuilding. Of course we want to go in that direction.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger in a bodybuilding pose. [circa 1980] (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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Marion Jones

Marion Jones of the USA winning the 100m at the IAAF Golden League Series and Van Damme Memorial in Brussels, Belgium in 1998: (Credit: Clive Mason/Allsport)
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Track star Marion Jones admitted to using steroids as she trained for the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney where she took home five medals, three of which were gold.

“I want to apologize to you all for all of this,” the Washington Post reports Jones saying at the time. “I am sorry for disappointing you all in so many ways.”

She was sent to prison for six months for lying to investigators about the drug, which she initially insisted she thought was the nutritional supplement flaxseed oil, and was forced to give back her medals.

“It wasn’t as difficult to give back the medals because it’s not about the hardware,” Jones told Oprah after her release. “It was about that memory. So that memory is what will be tarnished. That’s what’s hard.”

Marion Jones from the USA celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win the gold medal in the women’s 100-meter final at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. (Photo by Stephane Mantey/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong at the 1991 Tour DuPont cycling race. (Getty)
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Lance Armstrong is one of the most notorious admitted steroid users in sports history, not only because of his once-elevated status as a world champion cyclist, but also because of how long he hoodwinked everyone—fans, the International Olympic Committee, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency—even resorting to vicious threats to protect his lie until the very end.

“I deserve to be punished,” he told Oprah in a tell-all 2013 interview. “I’m not sure that I deserve a death penalty,” he added, noting that he wanted to compete again. “I’m a competitor. It’s what I’ve done my whole life.”

He even told the BBC that he’d “probably do it again” if he had the chance to go back in time—as it was “pervasive” and what everyone else was doing at the time—but he did get emotional when talking about one component of his elaborate cover-up: his children.

“When this all really started, I saw my son defending me, and saying ‘That’s not true. What you’re saying about my dad is not true.’ I told Luke, I said, ‘Don’t defend me anymore,’” Armstrong told Oprah.

American Lance Armstrong riding during the 2010 Tour de France. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa and Talia Shire as Adrian in Rocky. (Photo by  John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
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Though he’s never admitted to using steroids, there’s a very distinct difference in Sylvester Stallone’s physique between the first and fifth Rocky movies—birthing rumors about whether or not the actor used steroids to juice up. Some deemed their suspicions validated after the movie star was convicted in Australia for importing human growth hormone (HGH) in 2007. Authorities reportedly found 48 vials of Jintropin in his luggage, and Stallone was seen dropping four more vials from his hotel balcony before investigators could search his room. Stallone maintained that he was in possession for medical reasons, and when confronted about the conviction back in the states, Stallone didn’t directly answer questions about whether or not he’d ever take HGH to get “pumped” for a role.

“I wish it were true that you could take something like that and get in shape,” Stallone told then-TODAY show co-host Matt Lauer in 2008.

“You have to put in years and years and years of hard labor to stay in shape,” Stallone continued. “The most important thing about HGH—and I think more people should really be aware of it—is it really takes off the wear and tear that your body takes. The power to recuperate is very, very limited. So all it does is expedite.”

Sylvester Stallone in Rocky III. [circa 1990] (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

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