Frederick Carlton “King Carl” Lewis is a remarkable US athlete. He holds championship level titles in the sprint and broad jump and has received an impressive nine Olympic medals. However, his name is somewhat sullied by rumors concerning anabolic steroids. Ordinary athletes use “juice” to jump up the ladder, but elite sportsmen do so to gain the highest accolades possible. Did Carl Lewis use steroids to win?
Carl Lewis’ Background
Carl Lewis was born in the state of Alabama in 1961. When he was 7, he watched a TV program about Bob Beamon, the famous American jumper who set a record at the Mexico Olympics. His 8.9-meter jump was labeled a “leap into the twenty-first century.” No one managed to beat this record at the Olympic Games for many years. Then, at the 1991 World Championship, Beamon was surpassed by his compatriot Mike Powell by five centimeters.
Carl was so astounded by the broadcast that as soon as it was over he rushed to the yard to find out how long the neighbor’s car was. It was important for him to visualize 8.9 meters. His father, who was a sports instructor, had told him about the value of every second and each centimeter during track and field competitions.
Lewis was brought up in a sporting family. His mother was a hurdler who took part in the Pan-American games. Knowing from their own experience how thorny a sporting career can be, Carl’s parents tried their best to dissuade their son from engaging in sports. They urged him toward dancing, music, and singing; saying these pursuits were far more enjoyable.
However, teenaged Lewis was a keen football player, swimmer, and runner simultaneously. In 1971, when participating in school competitions he demonstrated brilliant results in broad jumping. There he met James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens, an iconic athlete who set five world records in 1935 and gained Olympic Game victories.
The sports legend approached Carl to praise him and express his prediction that the youngster was a champion in the making if he kept performing that way. That incident was a crucial moment in Carl’s ongoing determination to pursue a sporting path.
At 11 Lewis suffered a setback when he injured his right tendon. The doctor’s verdict was to quit jumping, which meant the end of a sports career for the boy. He neglected the doctor’s advice and as soon as he had treated his trauma, he resumed his exercise routine.
A year later, the young athlete jumped 5.5 meters, which he then improved to 7.85 meters by 17 years old. At just 18, he became a member of the US track and field team. He would have participated in the Moscow Olympic Games, but he had to follow suit when the entire American team refused to go to in protest against the Afghanistan war. Therefore, Carl Lewis continued his University studies and rigorous exercise regime.
Carl Lewis After His Career
The famous athlete completed his sporting career in 1997. One of the greatest athletes of the world announced his retirement from athletics after winning the 4 × 100-meter relay race in Berlin.
It is noteworthy that in recent years, Carl Lewis became a vegetarian. Nowadays he is actively engaged in charity and coaching activities, and in politics. He lives in the USA and is the author of a series of books on healthy lifestyles. In addition, he advertises and endorses sports products.
Carl Lewis and Steroids (Doping Scandal)
Sports Illustrated, a widely read US magazine, published headline-making info obtained from official sources. They referred to the National Olympic Committee’s unfair practices of concealing American sports person’s doping test results.
Wade Exum, who had headed the US NOC between 1991 and 2000, provided a 30,000-page case study containing revelatory documents. According to them, a number of US athletes who failed stimulant-detecting tests continued to take part in contests unhindered. They made it possible due to the NOC’s indulgent policy.
Exum presented the papers with proof of over 100 incidents of positive test results that had been hidden from the public. The most mindboggling information was about performance enhancers used by the Olympic medalists of 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000 Games.
In the published material, Sports Illustrated presented (based on Exum’s materials) a complete list of offenders. It was “headed” by the legendary athlete Carl Lewis. It turns out that on the eve of the ’88 Olympics, he failed doping control tests three times during internal qualifying competitions.
The sportsman’s blood contained small amounts of such substances as pseudoephedrine (PSE), ephedrine (Ephedrin, Efedrina), and phenylpropanolamine (PPA, Norephedrine).
The US NOC first punished Lewis’ results (Exum even claims that the athlete was disqualified), but then relented, taking into account the athlete’s justification: he took medicines for a cold, not understanding they contained forbidden elements. Lewis was acquitted of the “unintentional use of stimulating substances by inattention” and was included in the track and field athletics team for his country. He participated in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Korea, from where he returned with two gold medals and the title of “sprint king.”
The full list of prohibited drugs users contains Lewis’ friend and former exercising partner, runner Joe DeLoach, who in Seoul, won the 200-meter race. The same goes for another famous “offender” André Phillips, who won the gold in the 400m hurdle. It follows from Exum’s materials that DeLoach and Phillips were pardoned on the same grounds as Lewis.
When the illustrious magazine published a high-profile article about Carl Lewis’s involvement with prohibited drugs, the multiple Olympic champion responded, outraged that he hadn’t been active for 5 years but that journalists hadn’t stopped taunting him. He added that they had lost their common sense in an attempt to lower his achievements and destroy his career by incessant badmouthing.
Perhaps Carl is telling the truth, who knows. But on the Internet, there are suggestions that he used Anavar. The main component of this anabolic is oxandrolone. Athletes use it to reduce the percentage of subcutaneous fat (as a steroid for cutting) and thus give greater muscle definition. It also enhances stamina and performance. Such results are most desired for athletes, runners, and biathletes who want to increase their endurance, reaction speed, and strength without gaining weight.