Former 1983 Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout is determined to see the sport evolve since retiring decades ago. During the latest Muscle Maturity Podcast, Bannout implored bodybuilders to stop shooting gear into their calves as it will cause muscle tissue to atrophy.
“Please listen, anytime you inject something into the head of your calves, your calves will die!” Samir Bannout said.
Following the 2022 Mr. Olympia contest, which took place in mid-December, there were many takeaways from the event, like Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay falling to fifth place. The finals featured an intense battle between the Olympia People’s Champ Nick Walker, runner-up Derek Lunsford, and the newly crowned champion Hadi Choopan.
Days after the 2022 Olympia Weekend, IFBB head judge Steve Weinberger decided to shed some light on the surprising outcome. He maintained that Big Ramy came into the contest off, and was missing a few body parts, most notably his lower back and triceps. He suggested that Big Ramy may have been struggling with a back or shoulder injury.
In addition to Ramy, many fans pointed out the lack of detail in Iain Valliere’s lower back and calves. The latest to bring up the subject was Samir Bannout, who is insinuating that bodybuilders like Valliere are ruining their calf muscles by injecting substances into them.
Samir Bannout to Iain Valliere: ‘Ill-Advised’ Calf Injections Will Make Them Disappear’
While recapping the 2022 Olympia show, Samir Bannout warned competitors like Iain Valliere from injecting gear into their calves.
“I definitely know Iain is not posing as a Mr. Olympia champion — not good enough. But I have to point out to a lot of people out there, and I want you to take this seriously, and I don’t need to do this in a derogatory way or being rude. If you notice on Iain’s calves, both heads of the diamond part of the calves is messed up. And I don’t know if I should be talking about it openly,” says Samir Bannout.
Bannout mentioned that injecting into the head of the calves will cause the muscle tissue to die.
“Your calf muscle will die. I don’t care who you are. So take this advice from me, and I’m not going to list the name of who had that problem before, but I can list at least five or six people – very well-known famous people that have done that. They took the shot in their calves to bring a more diamond kind of look, but it’s completely backfired. You guys got to listen to me.”
According to Bannout, bodybuilding veterans Ahmad Haider and Dennis Wolf ruined their calves after injecting substances into them.
“I know a Lebanese champion Ahmad Haider who had good calves, and whoever, whoever, they gave him these [drugs] ill-advised, and messed his calves up. You know remember Dennis Wolf is one of my favorite people. Dennis Wolf had beautiful calves.”
“I don’t think Dennis went out of his way to do that. I’m sure his dumb coaches remember this, dumb with a capital D-U-M-B coaches who instructed them to take this injection in the calves — it backfired. So, look: Dennis Wolf was a hair away from winning the Olympia, then his calves completely disappeared,” says Bannout.
Bannout added that shooting substances into the calves can eventually lead to lifelong damage.
“You know what, I don’t want to make enemies here. I know several. I know about 10-15 people that had that same problem and I am 100 percent aware of the cause, so don’t inject anything into your calves guys. Please listen.
If you don’t want to listen, I don’t give a shit. Your calves will be like a fuc**ng needle. You won’t be able to walk on wood because your calves is going to stick to the fu**ng stage. You’re going to have no calves by injecting shit into your calves.”
Bannout isn’t the only bodybuilder warning against injecting the calves. Recently, Chris Cormier, who competed mostly from the 1990s-2000s, called attention to the dangerous practice. He shot the site enhancement oil Synthol into his calves and said it affected the blood circulation in his legs.
On top of his latest warning, Bannout has publicly denounced the use of diuretics. He used eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman’s 2001 health scare as an example and mentioned bodybuilders today are still dying from diuretics and extreme dehydration.
Moving forward, Samir Bannout hopes athletes in the IFBB take a safer approach to use performance-enhancing drugs. Most importantly, he urged active competitors to stop injecting their calf muscles as it will eventually cause irreversible damage.