UFC legend Ken Shamrock admitted to taking steroids in the past on HDNet’s “Inside MMA” on Friday.
Shamrock, 46, received a one-year suspension in February 2009 after testing positive for the steroid Stanozolol, as well as two Nandrolone-based substances, 19-Norandrosterone and 19-Noretiocholanolone, following his first-round victory over super heavyweight Ross Clifton at Wargods “Valentine’s Eve Massacre” in Fresno, Calif.
Through his representation, the UFC hall of famer adamantly denied the allegations and vowed to appeal the suspension. Shamrock’s camp placed suspicions on over-the-counter supplements the fighter had used, though the suspension ultimately went uncontested.
Steroids have been used by athletes in the sport for both cosmetic and recovery purposes.
When asked by HDNet’s “Fighting Words” host Mike Straka if he’d taken steroids, Shamrock answered, “Absolutely.”
"It’s like going to the grocery store. It’s that simple. It’s that easy,” said Shamrock of the drug’s accessibility during the taped interview on Friday. “But when you start trying to make things bigger and better, you’re going to get yourself hurt.”
Shamrock didn’t specify at which point of his athletic career he’d taken the performance-enhancing drugs (Shamrock also became a WWE pro wrestler in the late 1990s) and intonated that fans place a heavy burden on fighters to perform at the highest level.
"They want home runs, baby," Shamrock said. "They want people jacking them out of the park. But then when they find out about it they want to stick their heads in the sand and (say), 'How bad, that was stupid, you're crazy, don't let him in the hall of fame.' It's like let's point the finger because if we don’t point the finger at somebody else, we have to point it at ourselves because we knew. Nobody wants to take responsibility, but everyone wants to see it."
When asked, Shamrock also said he believed steroids should be made legal.
Shamrock, along with Royce Gracie, is considered one of UFC’s first bona fide stars. His exemplary physique, broody charisma and aggressive fighting style made an instant impression on fans at UFC 1 and UFC 3. The reformed juvenile delinquent made 15 Octagon appearances over the next 13 years and his rivalries with Gracie and later Tito Ortiz catapulted the promotion forward at key times during its growth. Shamrock’s “Lion’s Den” squad is the blueprint upon which all MMA teams are based.
Shamrock is scheduled to headline Impact Fighting Championship’s July 18 event against fellow UFC veteran Pedro Rizzo at the Sydney Events Centre in Sydney, Australia.