Mat Fraser Shares How CrossFit Tests For Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Edward Cooper
·3-min read
Photo credit: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.
Photo credit: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

From Men's Health

As with any athlete at the very upper echelon of their sport, doping accusations can come thick and fast for elite-level CrossFitters — especially those competing at the CrossFit Games.

As a relatively young sport with first-generation athletes still competing, CrossFit can regularly find itself catching heat from accusatory parties — most of whom are unimpressed social media users — on performance-enhancing drug (PED) culture within the sport.

Speaking on the Joe Rogan Experience #1618 podcast, now-retired five-time CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser unpacked how elite CrossFit athletes are tested for PEDs, amidst a discussion on how some athletes claim that the substances, when used as part of a wider training plan, are not as disruptive as previously thought.

"There's been a couple of people that, in CrossFit, got popped and were like 'the drugs weren't even doing anything'," said a bemused Fraser.

"Of course they work! They work. There's a reason they're so prevalent and there's a reason why they test for them," Rogan agreed. "They don't tested for things that don't work."

Nodding to suspicions of podium-finisher Ricky Gerard, who was one of three athletes disqualified from the 2017 CrossFit Games, Fraser said "the one guy was at the podium at the Games and then got popped. I competed against him six or eight months prior and he was snatching 260 or 265[lbs] and then shows up to the Games and snatches like 290[lbs] and almost hits 300[lbs] and he's like 'no, no, no, the drugs had nothing to do with it'.

"I don't believe that. You've been in the sport for years and in the last six months, you had this huge spike in performance... I'm not buying it".

According to Fraser, CrossFit would perform out-of-competition testing for PEDs "pretty often... when I did weightlifting, we were on the NAN — no advanced notice — programme... you have to give one hour a day of where you are, and they show up."

"They don't call... if you're leaving for the airport at like 4:50, you'll see someone sitting outside the dorm room, looking at their watch, waiting for 5AM to hit and give the knock. They'll follow you, come with you to school, work — it doesn't matter what you're doing."

Photo credit: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.
Photo credit: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

"For CrossFit drug testing, I remember the first time I got drug tested. When I first got into the sport, I thought 'I think these guys are doping, I don't believe it' and I didn't know about the drug testing protocols. I had to sign up for it, because I was doing well enough in the sport, and then I get a phone call... 'your name got pulled' and I was honestly excited because they do regulate this... my livelihood depends on me not breaking the rules."

Fraser also went on to explain that he was incredibly careful about taking prescription drugs, typically seeking three individual opinions and would often call CrossFit to make sure each prescription was legal.

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