Did Mike Tyson Take Steroids? (Deep Investigation)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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Mike Tyson, known as “Iron Mike” and "Kid Dynamite,” is a legendary American boxer who ruled the ring from 1985 to 2005.

As someone who has closely followed Mike Tyson's career, watched countless fights and interviews, and conducted thorough research, I can't help but have a hunch: It's possible that Mike may have dabbled with steroids.

Let's dive into some signs that suggest this.

Reason Why Mike Tyson Could Have Been On Steroids

shirtless man wearing boxing gloves

Mike Tyson, with his unparalleled prowess in the boxing ring, has often been the subject of speculation regarding steroid use. Let's explore some factors that fuel these suspicions.

Highly Muscular Build

When examining photos of a 13-year-old Tyson, it's unmistakably evident that his robust muscularity is rooted in genetics. Having trained numerous young athletes, I've developed an eye for identifying those with a natural predisposition for muscle development.

However, Tyson's ability to maintain such a defined and muscular physique throughout the roller-coaster of his career — through triumphs and tribulations — inevitably sparks questions about possible steroid use.

Given that many performance-enhancing drugs are specifically designed to promote fat loss without impacting muscle mass, it prompts one to ponder: Was the mature Tyson's remarkable physique solely a product of nature, or was it potentially augmented by external agents?

Insane Strength

I've trained with some strong folks in my time, but Tyson's ability to knock out opponents quickly and easily is on another level. It's reminiscent of the strength some athletes gain when using performance enhancers.

A 2007 study published in the Journal of Strength and Condition Research claimed that the use of steroids like testosterone enanthate significantly increased strength within 6–12 weeks of administration [1].

Having such strength, which made him one of the most feared boxers of his time, could be another possible sign of steroids.

Aggressive Behavior During Matches

A man working out tremendously in the gym

Having sparred and fought with various boxers during my career, I've seen aggression up close. But Tyson's legendary aggression was something entirely different.

Remember when he bit Holyfield's ear off?

And we're not talking about a playful bite; a piece of Holyfield's ear was later found on the ring floor.

According to a 1994 study published in the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry journal, increased aggression was associated with the illicit use of anabolic-androgenic steroids by athletes, often leading them to physically abuse other people [2].

In July 1991, Tyson was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison and four years of probation for the rape of 18-year-old Desiree Washington.

Such aggressive behaviors, on and off the ring, are fairly strong indicators that Tyson could have been taking steroids during his boxing career.

Prior Use of Drugs and Cheating Tests

Back in my younger days, I knew athletes who dabbled in recreational drugs. Hearing that Iron Mike confessed to using substances like cocaine and marijuana wasn't a complete shocker.

The former champion even confessed to cheating drug tests by using a fake penis to put drug-free urine into a cup. He even went as far as using his baby’s urine for one of his drug tests.

Although this prior use of drugs is not evidence of Tyson using steroids, his evasion of many drug tests is suspicious. Perhaps he evaded those same tests to avoid a potential steroid scandal.

It's not uncommon for professional athletes, as they often try to avoid detection of banned substances by using various methods, like resorting to masking agents such as nitrites, glutaraldehyde, epitestosterone, or human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

For all my readers and clients who wish to train, build heavy muscle, and achieve Tyson’s strength gains, I highly recommend these healthy and legal substitutes to anabolic steroids.

It combines high-quality legal ingredients to boost testosterone and performance levels to naturally bulk muscle and build strength.

Is It Possible To Achieve Mike Tyson’s Body and Athletic Abilities Naturally?

biceps with tape measure

Yes. From my personal experience in bodybuilding, I can attest that with the right genes and sheer determination, achieving a Tyson-like physique is possible.

But to match his athleticism, you'll need to sweat buckets.

And to circumvent genetic limitations, there are some legal steroid alternatives that can boost your stamina, strength, and testosterone production and make your muscle growth more rapid and effective.

Mike Tyson’s Stats and Accomplishments

  • Age: 55 (born 30 June, 1966)
  • Height: 5’10” (178 cm)
  • Weight: 240 lbs (109 kgs)
  • Arm Reach: 71 inches (180 cm)
  • Chest: 52 inches (132 cm)
  • Waist: 36 inches (91.4 cm)
  • Biceps: 18.5 inches (47 cm)

In 1986, Tyson made history, becoming the youngest world champ by beating Trevor Berbick.

“Mike Tyson was one of the fighters who motivated me. How? We both used to train at the Golden Gloves boxing gym. I used to see his Rolls-Royce, his diamond Rolex on, and I said, ‘You know what? Those are the things that I want.’”

— Floyd Mayweather, Jr., American Former Professional Boxer

FAQs

Was Mike Tyson Ever Banned for Steroid Use?

No. Mike has never been banned for using steroids. He’s never failed a drug test in his career. According to him, using PEDs in combat sports is criminal.

Did Tyson Ever Speak Out Against Steroids?

Yes. Tyson has voiced his opinion against using steroids in combat sports. On an episode of the ‘Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast, he said, “I’m not against steroids…But it shouldn’t be used in sports where people are physically fighting…You’re going to hit a man, that’s attempted murder”.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17530941/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7951641/
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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