Is Usain Bolt on 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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Having trained with a variety of athletes throughout my career, I've seen firsthand the skepticism that surrounds exceptional performance.

Usain Bolt, with his multiple world records, especially when defeating other sprinters who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, naturally raises eyebrows and makes the athletic world wonder if he too is on steroids.

As a fitness instructor, I have worked with several athletes who use banned substances, so it's easy for me to tell if someone is natty or not. In addition, I spent two weeks investigating Bolt’s athletic history, diet, and workout routine to determine whether his speed is a natural talent.

Is Usain Bolt Using Steroids?

From my experience working with athletes who've used PEDs, there are telltale signs. Usain Bolt may not be using these drugs because he lacks these common indicators like acne, enlarged breasts, sudden massive mass gains, and rapid deterioration of health.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Usain St.Leo Bolt (@usainbolt)

Furthermore, his outstanding sprinting skills can be attributed to his diet, workout regimen, and running techniques.

According to studies, human running speed is not biologically limited, and sprinters can run faster by hitting the ground harder and more quickly [1] [2].

In short, Usain probably has set the current 100-meter world record of 9.58 seconds by spending years honing his muscles' ability to fire up and generate force quickly.

Reasons People Think Bolt Uses Steroids

Two persons running beside each other on the field

Over the years, in conversations with fellow trainers and athletes, I've heard various reasons why many believe Bolt might be using PEDs. Here are some of the common ones:

Young Age

Usain won a gold medal in the 200 meters at the Junior World Championships at 15, set a new world mark at 16, and became the first teenager to break the 20-second record in the race at 17 [3]. These results are disproportionately extreme even by Jamaican standards.

Performance

Bolt's performance improved significantly in a year, increasing by 0.34 seconds. In an almost unnaturally short time frame, he went from running the 100-meters in 10.03 seconds in 2007 to breaking the record a year later with 9.69 seconds [4].

Attitude towards PEDs in Jamaica

Researchers revealed that Jamaica lacks out-of-competition testing, creating their anti-doping agency only in 2008, and conducting drug tests that were not very rigorous [5].

Usain's Stats and Accomplishments

A man wearing blue shirt running outdoors

Since becoming the Junior World Championship and the youngest gold medalist, Jamaica's sprint champion has come a long way in track and field sport.

Usain Bolt, with his electrifying speed and charismatic personality, transcended sports to become a global icon. His record-breaking sprints made him a symbol of excellence, inspiring countless individuals.

Current Stats

  • Age: 35 years old (Born: August 21, 1986)
  • Height: 6 feet 5 inches (196 cm)
  • Weight: 207 lbs (93.89 kg)

Career Highlights

Bolt has won eleven championships, set a world record in the 100 and 200 meters, and won eight Olympic gold medals. According to his social media profiles, Bolt attributes his success to genetics, nutrition, and training techniques.

He has achieved his speed and won gold medals in most of his competitions by maximizing his physiological advantage, consuming appropriate foods, and following a training program that is tailored to his needs. He has never failed a drug test.

Is His Speed Possible Without Steroids?

Syringe with possible steroid inside

In my years of training, I've seen how height can play a significant role in an athlete's performance. Usain Bolt's towering height of 6 feet 5 inches definitely gives him a stride advantage, making his speed possible even without the use of drugs.

His long stride enables him to run at a higher speed.

According to research, an optimal link exists between stride length and stride rate when producing speed. As speed increases, step length and pace also increase [6].

What Would It Take To Perform and Look Like Him?

Various healthy vegetables

Having trained numerous athletes, I can say that achieving a speed like Usain's isn't just about training hard. It would take a combination of excellent genetics, proper nutrition, and consistent training to even come close.

In maters genetics, certain genetic markers can influence athletic performance. For instance, Usain Bolt's exceptional speed may be linked to genetic variations like ACTN3, associated with fast-twitch muscle fibers [7].

Diet And Supplements

Usain shifted his love for fast foods to a healthier alternative. He also claims he only eats moderately to ensure proper digestion before his workout.

Bolt's usual healthy meal includes:

  • Breakfast: Jamaican dish of Ackee, saltfish, yellow yam, potato, and cooked banana
  • Lunch: Pasta with chicken breast
  • Dinner: Rice, vegetables, roasted chicken or pork

Throughout the day, he snacks on fruits, consumes energy drinks and takes men's vitamin tablets [8].

Some of the additional supplements he is known to take are fish oil, magnesium, green superfood powder, and BCAAs for men [9].

I believe that with the right training regimen and diet, it is truly possible for anyone to reach fitness goals faster. However, I constantly advise my clients to use our recommended legal steroid alternatives for men that is free of illegal substances when they want to fast-track their fitness journey.

Tough Training

Man doing workout in the gym

According to his social media profiles, Usain trains six days a week for eleven months, His total-body training plan comprises the following:

  • Electric Bolt workout, for maximum power output
  • Sprint training, for increasing anaerobic threshold
  • Ab workout, for core strength
  • Weight training, for keeping a lean physique

According to one of his interviews, Usain Bolt's training gives him confidence, which provides him with a good state of mind that helps him perform effectively.

“I know what I can do, so I never doubt myself.”

- Bolt, Usain 

Was Usain Tested for Steroid Use?

The World Athletics and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) must’ve tested Usain for drugs following his participation in the World Championships and Olympic Games.

Although he has never failed a single drug test, skeptics view him as a suspect due to some top athletes who were caught doping, including Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis, Marion Jones, and Asafa Powell [10] [11].

FAQs

Has Usain Ever Been Banned for Using Steroids?

Usain has never been banned for using steroids. He was permitted to compete in many World Championships and Olympic Games, winning numerous gold medals.

Does Usain Have Health Issues Due to Steroids?

Usain does not have health issues due to steroids. Aside from the severe hamstring injury he suffered in 2017, his other health issue is scoliosis, but he has none of the common consequences of PEDs like kidney or liver damage.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20093666/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5473370/
  3. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Usain-Bolt
  4. https://worldathletics.org/news/report/impressive-1003-by-bolt-in-rethymno-vardino
  5. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2015/02/20/wada-chief-heads-to-jamaica-to-check-on-drug-testing-program/23726083/
  6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6286285_Factors_Related_to_Top_Running_Speed_and_Economy
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4322025/
  8. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/athletics/im-clean-i-was-born-to-be-great-says-bolt/articleshow/21348210.cms
  9. https://totalshape.com/fitness/usain-bolt-workout-diet/
  10. https://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/23/sport/olympics-2012-ben-johnson-seoul-1988-dirtiest-race/index.html
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2003/apr/24/athletics.duncanmackay
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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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