Monday, January 9, 2012

The Cyborg Tests Postive for Anabolic Steriods...So what now?

The WMMA world is up in arms over the recent announcement that Strikeforce 145lb WMMA champion, Cris "Cyborg" Santos, tested positive for anabolic steriods.  For many, this was simply a confirmation of Cris's 'manliness;' for others, it was proof that WMMA does not have the type of fighters necessary to make the sport popular.  For members of the WMMA community, the announcement was devastating.  Cris has long been a shining example of the intense and dominate female fighter who 'hits like a guy' and kicks major ass in the cage.  The news of the Cyborg's positive test for steriods caused many to question the future of her career...and WMMA in general.

Can one athlete ruin the future of a sport?  Time and again we've seen male athletes perform horrible acts (Mike Tyson) and yet the sport continued to flourish.  The assumption that WMMA may lose what traction it has gained over the past year gives far too much power to one woman.  The Cyborg's career may be over, but there are plenty of up-and-coming fighters as well as established champions ready to further their careers. 

Personally, I was devastated by the news of Cris's failed test.  I've always liked Cris, not just because she is an incredible fighter, but because she seems like such a sweet girl.  I find it difficult to pass judgement on her or any other professional athlete who use performance enhancing drugs because I waiver frequently on my feelings for or against them.  Before you jump on me, read the following article from the Washington Times on how to handle professional athletes who have tested positive for steroids. 

All adults try to enhance their performance in a multitude of ways. We use cars and computers to make our work more efficient. We use caffeine, alcohol and Viagra to improve our performance. We send our children to schools and Suzuki lessons to improve their cognitive and performance skills. We inject them with vaccines to enhance their immune systems.
Athletes have used performance-enhancing drugs and devices since the beginning of recorded history. Babylonians and Romans used herbs to improve their performance in battle. Naked Greeks put on shoes to run faster. Kenyan runners trained at altitude, and runners everywhere have carbo-loaded to improve their endurance.
None of these activities has been considered immoral or illegal. Why, then, are we re-enacting the Salem Witch Trials with steroids as the witch’s brew? Why are our greatest athletes being threatened with imprisonment for this universal quest to succeed and excel, whether by using drugs, devices or other means?
 Read the rest:

Until I discover how to approach this topic, I will continue to be said.  Sad for WMMA, sad for all the female fighters who have worked so hard to get into the cage.  But most of all, I am sad for Cris.  Oh, and Yamanaka


slideyfoot said...

The worst thing about this from my perspective is how happy it must make all those drooling idiots who said things like "yeah, Cyborg is only tough because she's really a man. No normal woman can fight like that." :(

I admired Cyborg as a woman who wasn't afraid to break away from gender roles, instead developing an impressively powerful physique. She refused to pander to the kind of people who only want to see female athletes in glamour shots rather than respecting their abilities. So, the steroids revelation was disappointing.

Still, there are other women who remain worthy of that respect, like Lana Stefanac and Gabi Garcia. I really hope Cyborg's fall from grace doesn't turn the clock back on women's MMA, but it's a worrying possibility.

Sable Weisman said...

Personally, I don't have anything against steroids. I don't think I'd ever use them personally because I am a gigantic chicken and respect the power of the endocrine system far too much, but I think it's basically a given that every professional athlete in every sport uses some kind of performance-enhancing drug, or has at one time. I personally know the endocrinologist who works with an entire pro football team...and I think that basically speaks for itself. You don't need an endocrinologist for an entire team of healthy young people unless there's something going on there. ;-)

But I was also disappointed that now everyone can just say "Her success all boils down to the roids!" =( I don't think that's true. I think she's also worked extremely, extremely hard, and other than this lapse in judgment, has proven herself to be very intelligent.

DagneyTaggert said...

I'm glad she is being held accountable, but I can't help being a little miffed that men are not routinely exposed in this manner. There are many more men's MMA fights broadcast on a regular basis; are they routinely tested?

L.A. Jennings said...

I appreciate all of your intelligent and non-reactionary comments. Immediately after the news came out, someone just put "steriods" on my post about Cris as an inspiration and I had to laugh. But I am also still incredibly sad. Too many people will, as you all mentioned, attribute all of her success to performance enhancing drugs, which many of her colleagues, I know, are guilty of using as well. I hope that a more I agree that she isn't the only successful WMMA star for the community to rally behind and it is time to give those other talented ladies some respect.

slideyfoot said...

Classy reaction from Gina Carano, here.

Andrew said...

The difference in using PEDS in MMA is that you can really seriously injure someone. Every win of hers should have an asterisk next ti it now.
Cyborg's penalty was too light if you ask me.

Jiu Jiu said...

I really like Cyborg. I do think it's likely crap that she "didn't know" she was taking them. But, I also agree with the above poster who says - it's absolutely not the only reason she was winning.

She's a maniac! I also changed a bit of my opinion on steroids after watching the pseudo-documentary "Bigger, Faster, Stronger" and I can intellectually understand why someone would take steroids - I'm 36 and I can't train nearly as much as I'd like because holy crap my bag of bones gets worn out quickly. If you're a professional athlete, having that edge can be critical.

I think Ronda coming around has breathed new life into WMMA, which I think overshadows Cyborg's news.