Former 1983 Mr. Olympia winner Samir Bannout took to a recent podcast to discuss the overuse of drugs in bodybuilding. In addition, Bannout took a closer look at Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay‘s chances one month before the 2023 Arnold Classic.
Bannout made his name in the IFBB Pro League during the Golden Era of bodybuilding. He was known for balanced proportions, symmetry, and intricate posing routines. While standing on the sport’s most prestigious stage, Bannout defeated names such as Tom Platz, Lee Haney, and Frank Zane.
Even though he gave up competing, Bannout’s interest in bodybuilding is evident anytime he takes to a microphone. He believes the Men’s Open division has changed since the 80s, arguing that bodybuilders and their coaches today push too many drugs during the off seasons as well as contest preps.
Bannout is concerned the sport may be headed in the wrong direction. Bodybuilders have had near-death experiences from dehydration caused by diuretics. He’s also mentioned that active competitors are shooting site-enhancement oils like Synthol into their calf muscles, which can cause the tissue to atrophy. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger has labeled bodybuilding as the most dangerous sport in the world.
Speaking with Nick Trigili and John Hansen, Samir Bannout discussed the late Bostin Loyd, high-risk drug experimentation, and Big Ramy’s chances a month from the 2023 Arnold Classic.
Samir Bannout Talks the Late Bostin Loyd, High Risk Drug Experimentation and Clenbuterol
The late Bostin Loyd, a known steroid enthusiast, tragically died in March 2022 from an aortic dissection. Bannout underlined the dangers in the sport and believes someone led him down a dark road.
“You know what really bugs me the most because I know Bostin Loyd’s father was a bodybuilding champion and I know his mom — him mom is a lovely lady and she’s in a good shape. His mom came to the gym several times, she was training next to me, we chatted quite a bit, she’s a wonderful woman.
The parents were doing real bodybuilding. I can’t believe Bostin – rest in peace – he went in the wrong direction. I heard some of the things he did, and it was really sad. He was a young man. He had a great future and great potential. I don’t know who took him to this route but it’s really sad he’s gone. So, now, we’re talking about the longevity guy, which is really sad too,” Samir Bannout said.
“The association with these people, they do similar things and they’re dangerous, basically,” Bannout added.
According to Bannout, Clenbuterol was first created by the late Daniel Duchaine. Despite its use in the sport, Bannout believes it doesn’t have a place in bodybuilding.
“Remember the Clenbuterol, when did the Clenbuterol start — Clenbuterol was cooked and put together by Daniel Duchaine and Michael Zumpano was there. I knew about it since day one. I tried it. I tried it, okay. Do I think Clenbuterol has a place in bodybuilding? Personally, I think no.”
Bannout Urges Bodybuilding ‘Gurus’ to ‘Understand Nutrition’ Instead of Overusing Drugs
Bannout believes athletes have become too reliant on drugs and shared that several bodybuilding legends didn’t use compounds like these to cement their legacies.
“All of these things are not really needed. They weren’t used by Arnold Schwarzenegger or Frank Zane or Bill Pearl or any of the greats,” says Bannout. “‘Come on, we know you don’t need to trick your mind, ‘oh I’m recovered,’ so I could drive, you need to understand nutrition, don’t rely on drugs. That’s why some of the gurus today get on my nerves. They can’t scratch their ass without taking drugs.”
Before ending the discussion, Bannout gave his thoughts on Ramy seeking redemption at the 2023 Arnold Classic.
“It’s hard to say, if he doesn’t do well then we know without a doubt, that he has some health issues with nerve damage and things like that. Let’s see what happens. If he comes in improved, he can definitely be in the top three easily. Let’s hope he’s not worse than the Olympia. Do I think he can win, if he’s a little bit fuller and has control.”
Bannout isn’t the only bodybuilding veteran taking issue with Open athletes abusing PEDs. Recently, Rich Gaspari tackled the sensitive subject. Instead of pointing to their diet, Gaspari highlighted that modern athletes are too dependent on drugs instead of utilizing ‘quality’ training.
Given the risks associated with drug use in bodybuilding, veterans like Samir Bannout and Rich Gaspari hope to see competitors abandon pharmaceuticals in favor of heavier training and cleaner diets.