Olympic Doping History: Raw Testicles + Cocaine = Victory!

Reuters’ Kate Kellan wrote a fun piece today highlighting the Olympics’ long and rich history of doping. Well, doping in a broad sense. But 19th century Olympians and ancient ones had no access to high-tech steroids, blood doping or hormone injections. They were way more hardcore.

Some highlights:

• Ancient Olympians boosted their testosterone by munching on animal testicles. Raw, of course. A bit chewy, but worth it for the extra surge of manly manliness crucial for naked competition in brutal Pankration battles.

• 19th century Olympians regularly got off on coca leaves, cocaine and booze — with a few injections of strychnine for good measure. Nothing like a couple lines of blow and two shots of whiskey to numb your mind when you’re trying to do something as insane as running a marathon.

So why is drug use so frowned upon these days? Are we so much better than we once were? No — everyone in this century is still on drugs, we just expect more from our athletes for some reason. Isn’t anyone curious what kind of records we could set in an all-drug Olympics?

15 Weird and Badass Facts About the Ancient Olympics

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