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Did Mike Tyson Take Steroids? (Deep Investigation)

Jordan Smith
Published by Jordan Smith
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: April 20, 2022

Mike Gerard Tyson is an American former professional boxer who actively competed from 1985 to 2005.

Given the nicknames “Iron Mike” and "Kid Dynamite,” Tyson is deemed one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time.

I spent quite some time watching many of his fights and interviews. Based on his physique, strength, and body language,  it seems to me that Mike Tyson could have potentially taken steroids during his boxing career.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the observable signs on Mike Tyson that could indicate his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Quick Summary

  • Tyson has voiced he is against the use of steroids only in fighting sports.
  • Tyson admitted to taking recreational drugs like cocaine and weed before his matches and even cheating on drug tests.
  • Tyson’s strength made him one of the most feared boxers during his prime.

Reason Why Mike Tyson Could Have Been On Steroids

shirtless man wearing boxing gloves

Highly Muscular Build

The most telltale sign of steroid abuse is increased muscle mass [1]. Tyson’s photos at 13 show he was naturally muscular.

Later, he boxed in the heavyweight category yet still managed to look lean.

Many performance-enhancing drugs are used purely for fat loss and don’t affect muscle size. Perhaps, Tyson’s lean look could have resulted from taking those.

Insane Strength

Besides physique, he displayed the scary ability to knock out opponents quickly and easily.

A 2007 study claimed that the use of steroids like testosterone enanthate significantly increased strength within 6–12 weeks of administration [2].

Having such strength that made him one of the most feared boxers of his time could be a possible sign of steroids.

Aggressive Behavior During Matches

mike tyson during a boxing match

We can agree that Tyson’s aggressive demeanor is all part of his training and a show of intimidation to his opponents.

But his behavior during his second fight with Evander Holyfield shocked many people.

In June 1997, Tyson fought Evander Holyfield for the second time in one of the most controversial matches in boxing history.

Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield on both ears in the third round.

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

A 1994 study showed that increased aggression was associated with the illicit use of anabolic-androgenic steroids by athletes, often leading them to physically abuse other people. [3].

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

Iron Mike has confessed that he fought under the influence of recreational drugs like cocaine and marijuana [4].

The former champion even confessed to cheating drug tests 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 him using steroids, his evasion of many a drug test is suspicious. Perhaps, he evaded those same tests to avoid a potential steroid scandal.

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 became the youngest world champion in boxing history by defeating the then champion, 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

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

biceps with tape measure

Yes. Building up to Mike Tyson's physique is achievable if you already have his frame and genetics.

But, from what I’ve noticed, matching his athletic abilities would mean training hard — psychologically, more than physically.

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.

Was Mike Tyson Ever Tested for Steroid Use?

Yes, Mike Tyson has been tested for steroids almost as many times as he’s fought professional matches because boxing federations have strict drug testing policies.

Related Articles:

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” [4].

Did Mike Tyson’s Performance Result From Steroids?

Based on his early photos, he seems to be genetically gifted with a muscular build.

Yet, his strength levels and past recreational drug use (not to mention him cheating on drug tests) make me believe that he took steroids at some point in his career. But we can't be sure of anything until Tyson tests positive.

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

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


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10589853/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17530941/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7951641/
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/nov/14/mike-tyson-undisputed-truth-astonishing-claims
  5. https://www.marca.com/en/boxing/2021/07/19/60f5e8cbe2704e7a258b45fc.html

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