Fresh on the back of his brother Ricky's PED use, Ben Garard has also tested positive
The 2017 Crossfit games were rocked by the revelation that Ricky Garard had tested positive for a number of performance-enhancing drugs. This was after podium finish and an exciting games that showed Garard as one to watch. To get on the podium at 23 was quite something and Crossfist enthusiasts were rightly stoked to see what the future would bring this young talent. Testing positive changed all that. Handed a four year ban, Ricky's career seems almost over. While his Instagram remains full of uplifting comments and his commitment to carrying on with his training, there's very little silver lining in this:
That's why it's even more shocking that his elder brother, Ben Garard, has also just tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Ben was tested on April 16th, 2019 after dropping out of the Down Under Crossfit competition. He tested positive and has been handed a four-year ban like his brother. His Instagram has been updated little since the ban and he seems to be taking time to take stock of his situation.
It's a devastating ban for both brothers given their commitment to the Crossfit cause and how much of a part Crossfit has clearly played in both of their lives. But it begs the question - why did they take the enhancements in the first place?
First, we should clarify what they got tested for. For Ricky it was testolone and metabolics. For Ben it was just metabolics. These are generally quite low-key PEDs. They basically just improve your body's ability to burn fat and build muscle, which obviously gives you an unfair advantage, but it's not quite the same as smashing 'roids twice a week.
Athletes take drugs for number of reasons, and newer drugs are getting harder and harder to detect so it seems like the risks are going down - the risks of being caught that is. Given this, you can see how young athletes can easily get led astray. When you are out there and in the gym and seeing other athletes, you want to go toe to toe with them and you want to be the best. Even amateurs will be familiar with this feeling. We all want to compete; we all want to win. Is it really that surpising that 24 and 26 year olds take some easy to find PEDs to give themselves an edge? And do we really believe that no other athletes are taking PEDs or have they just not been caught yet?
It's a shame Ricky and Ben Garard felt they need to taking PEDs, but it's not a shame they got caught. Hopefully they'll learn their lesson and since they're both still young, they'll be back in 2021 and 2023 to compete again.