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Drug testing in grip sports.


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I was wondering if performance enhancing drugs aid grip strength?  It is widely believed that such drugs aid strength in weightlifting, powerlifting and so on.

Will the IGC make a position statement about such substances?

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Performance enhancing drugs, "All the major type of steroids" etc. can enhance just about any muscular activity including grip strength.  

However, as many people know, steroids enhance muscle strengh and growth and have much less of an effect on tendons and ligaments.  That is why you so often see very powerful men tearing out muscles, pecs bicepts and quadricepts tend to be the most common.  This is often because their muscles have grown and gotten stronger than their tendons can handle.  Your muscles will normally not get stronger than your tendons under natural means.

Now grip strength is a little more unique due to the fact that it uses many more tendons and ligaments that do most exercises due to the many smaller muscles being trained.  Somebody using heavy steroids and really training their grip hard, especially someone who never trained their grip hard in the 1st place, has a good chance of doing some tendon damage if their not careful, especially if they are nail bending as it is very stressful on the tendons.

I guarantee you if you take two people of similar size that have around equal grip strength and genetics and you give them the task lets say of closing a number 2 or 3 gripper.  You give one of them steriods and the other one nothing and train them both hard, the one on steroids will become stronger on the grippers quicker 99% of the time, although their is a fair chance that he will do some damage along the way not to mention the numerous side-effects he will encounter.

It's a sad fact that most world class strengh athletes in power lifting and ALL, not some bodybuilders, at the top at one time or another had or are taking steroids.  It's just a fact no matter how much they deny it.  I don't have a problem with people taking them at all, it just pisses me off to no end when they completly deny it.  I know people don't want to hear that, but hey the truth hurts and I'm sure a lot of people will agree with me.

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Your guess is that anabolic steroids improve grip strength. It this is so should contests be drug tested? Should record holders be tested? Otherwise the people who are clean are competing in an unlevel playing field.

Has anyone seen or heard any evidence of drug usage in grip events?

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I have seen evidence of steroid use in all strength sports as well as many non-strength related sports.  If you disagree then you probably have not been to that many strength related competitions.  Even in "drug free" federations, steroid use is found, although it may not be that prevalent if they have a good testing program.  Just visit the USAPL website and look at the list of positive tests and banned lifters.  They have a pretty good testing policy but that doesn't stop some users from trying to compete anyway.  One problem with powerlifting is that when a lifter is banned from one federation, there are still numerous other federations where they can still compete.   If you are an olympic lifter or all-round lifter, there is usually just one governing body in each country, so a positive test means no more competing for several years.  I'm not too familiar with testing programs for strongmen competitions, highland games, armwrestling, and other strength sports.

The USAWA which sanctions our Super Grip Challenge is in the process of initiating a strict drug testing program which will include out of contest  testing as well as contest testing.  THis is really the only way to be effective with drug testing.  THere is a good possibility that we will drug test athletes at our next grip competiton.  There have been athletes banned from the USAWA/IAWA for postive drug tests in the past and I have seen evidence of steroid use in this organization but the cases have been few and far between.  Part of that is because it is a relatively small organization that does the type of lifting that the old time strongmen did.  THis does not seem to be attractive to most heavy steroid users.  

I do think that steroid users would have an unfair advantage even in grip related events.  Most all steroid users that I have known have always maintained that their recovery time was so much better and that they could train harder or at least more frequently.  This would be a big advantage.

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I have witnessed the phenomenon of people resorting to anabolic steroids when they felt they needed help to compete with others. That might be the same motive that some might have to do well in grip sports.

If the prestige of winning or achieving some feat is sufficient the temptation to use shortcuts might be too inviting.

I welcome drug testing and the sooner the better in all grip contests.

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