Saturday, February 21, 2009

Serena vs. the East German Swim Team

Some of you may be a little too young to remember this, but you have probably heard jokes about the East German Women's Swim team.  The muscularity of their female swimmers was so over the top, that people in the West were absolutely outraged that they could be so brazen as to load their swimmers up with steroids.  There was never really an argument against it.  It was always just assumed that they were on steroids.  So let's take a look at the star swimmer from the East German team in the '76 Olympics:

What can we see.  Sure she is fairly muscular, but somehow the automatic outrage that would have been elicited from that picture in 1976 is somehow not so strong.  Why?  Quite simply, we see women in sports who look like this all the time.  We have become accustomed to it.  Now, is there something in the water that is causing this?  No, there is a steroid problem.  So many female athletes are hopped on steroids, that our steroid shock detectors have been disabled.  Let's look, for example,  at this picture of Serena Williams in bathing suit:

Serena is bigger than Kornelia Enders.  Her shoulders are bigger, her thighs are bigger and she has more muscle definition.  For some reason, the same people who were outraged by the East German swimmer, are giving Serena Williams a pass.  It is obvious to the naked eye that Serena Williams has an extraordinarily unnatural muscle mass for a woman (maybe even for a man).  For someone who engages in hours of intense aerobic activity like tennis every day, this is even more unnatural.  The only rational explanation, in my opinion, is steroids.

Here's a side by side comparison:


  1. No, the only rational explanation is that you are a delusional idiot

    1. She has roid rages all the time, she refuses to take doping tests and she looks like a man playing against girls. How much more proof do you need?

    2. Nope. it's true. This writer is a delusional idiot. Not only are the comparisons between the two above pictures baseless and inaccurate, but so are the generalizations about the bodies of female athletes. You are right about one things, though, one does need more proof than ill informed assessments of a few bikini shots to convict someone of steroid use.

      this is what real athletes look like:

  2. Bryan, Bryan. I'm sure in your neighborhood there are women walking around with enormous deltoids and biceps like this, but if you could send me a picture of any woman anywhere that is as big and muscular as Serena and not on steroids, I will happily post it here and admit that I'm delusional. Just one woman is all I ask.

  3. Philip,
    Laila Ali has some pretty good muscle definition, as well, although not as much as Serena. I won't speculate further than that, but she does fit in the "any woman anywhere" portion of my post, I suppose, so one point for your side.

  4. why cant it be just hours a day at the gym?

    there are big women out there, and if they work out all the time they may umm grow muscles...

    not everyone will become skinny thin

  5. Just look at any track@field meet there are loads of women big...just sayin.

    1. Yeah casue you never here about track and field athletes using performance enhancing drugs.

  6. Tennis is not aerobic! It's an aerobic activity...

  7. The reason why the East German and Chinese swim teams were so outrageous and so obviously drug cheats was not their size, but their comparative size. Sport, and sporting standards have changed dramatically. In both men and womens sports the average size, strength, speed and performance of athletes has changed dramatically, as is the nature of on-going competition.

    While it is obvious that drugs and their misuse is an ongoing problem in sport of all forms, I dont believe that it is particularly accurate to draw the conclusions that you have.

  8. You are obviously an nonathletic little dweeb with a very poor understanding of strength training, muscle mass and physiology. Serena Williams is not going to look like any little foolish female that you see puttering around your neighborhood because she is a top ranked athlete!!!! I am sure she has to train very hard to look like this and FYI it is very possible for a woman with the right genetic predisposition to look that with the right training without the help of anabolics.

    The east German swimmers are not comparable because they came out of nowhere and dominated the sport and they were significantly larger than one would expect with a swimmers training regimen. I am at a loss to explain how anyone could think Nadal is a steroid freak unless they are an absolute moron who has never touched a weight in their life.

  9. I think if you look with an objective eye, the truth will reveal itself as "steroid cocktails". Either that or she had someone stick a straw up her ass and blow the bulk in. She is on drugs and it will be shown thus at a future time. All her championships will be put into the toilet. She is a victim of her sister's success and her Dad's intensive expectations.

  10. Serena’s behavior last night in the semi-final of the US Open is one more, of the several, irrefutable signs that something is wrong.

    I have closely followed tennis since 1977 and this is the worst behavior I have ever seen by a tennis player. I have never seen a professional or weekend tennis players act like this. Serena’s behavior was much worse than the all-time bad boy of tennis, John McEnroe. To my knowledge, he never threatened lines people as Serena did last night. I have seen her explode at other players on other occasions; yet her actions last night were abhorrent. This begs the question, What has she done in smaller venues when not on prime time television?

    This sets a low precedent for the game of tennis. Should Serena not be penalized for her actions, beyond losing one point in last night’s game, we may see more shameful behavior like hers.

    Some people feel her frequent maniacal outbursts are steroid induced.

    I recall one of Serena’s outburst against Jelena Jankovic. Some against lines people. Yet, many of these outbursts occur when “getting pumped up.” Yet, when her eyes seem as though they are about to pop out and her head about to explode, it seems there are other unseen forces at work.

    As has been mentioned before, Serena entered the 2007 Australian Open ranked 81st in the world because of infrequent play. It was also mentioned by reporters that she had not been practicing routinely. She was also carrying 30 to 40 pounds of fat – much heavier than any tennis player, male or female, I had ever seen. Yet, defeated all her competitors, all of whom were in top athletic condition.

    And how could she go from normal size and weight, at the age of 17 to 19, to an extremely pronounced figure with profoundly thick limbs? To add such size would require an extensive, aggressive weight-lifting routine over a long period of time. How could she maintain such a routine while touring the professional tennis circuit? This is very peculiar. In sharp contrast, almost every tennis player wishes to be light for enhanced running speed and agility. Consider professional football players in the position of wide-receiver: Have you ever seen one who is bulky as Serena?

    So, her frequent outbursts, winning major tournaments without much practice or play and her immense size in relationship to the other professional tennis players on the WTA seems to point to one conclusion: steroids.

    The last line of defense, for those who wish to defend Serena, is testing. Yet, testing can be subject to big money and corruption. Even The World’s Series was a scam one year. Perhaps, it was a scam more than once.

    The United States Tennis Association must strongly condemn Serena’s actions. I feel the USTA should also consider imposing a suspension and monetary fines.

    But we may see a cover-up. And the biggest cover-up, should there be one, will come from the media in which they will marginalize and brush this aside.

  11. To: Tennis Has A Steroid Problem ~
    That Serena Williams is on steroids is a total no-brainer; I agree with your conclusions and anyone who would out-of-hand dismiss them and immediately resort to name-calling (saying you are a “delusional idiot”) is a real maroon. But what can we expect from the peanut gallery? One look around at our country shows that most of the population is comprised of maroons.

    But when someone introduced Laila Ali as an example of a muscular female non-steroid user and you immediately caved in, it suggested to me that perhaps you are in the wrong line of work here. Why in the world would anyone automatically assume and take at face value that Laila Ali is NOT also on steroids or HGH? Sheesh, man! One must presume that most professional sports competitors are using SOMETHING for muscle development and quick recovery. I have often suspected that Laila Ali and all other boxers are using HGH at the very least, since there is no reliable testing for it.

    What you would need for your comparison is a woman who participates in sports but in a strictly non-professional way. As soon as one introduces money and the potential for extreme fame then the athlete is going to be more tempted to seek that competitve (chemical) edge. My Friend, you must defend your position better than you have demonstrated. You are certainly correct in what you say, but you must also be willing and able to vigorously debate your position. Never concede a point that has not directly hit the bull’s-eye; never give up unless you are honestly beaten. Think deep and hit hard!

    Best Wishes, my Brother!
    ~ “Lonesome Dogg” McCarthy

  12. Of course she is on something. Let's compare Venus' and Serena's pictures from their adolescent days and now. Venus: almost no change. Serena: Huge change. Her limbs are way bigger, she is very muscular and has a power of a man (at slams).
    Then look at her behavious: US Open was the biggest hint I think but besides that on many other tournaments she's shown a lot of inappropriate aggression. God knows what she's up to when the match isn't on TV...
    And the last proof of her enhancing her game with roids is comparison of non-major vs major performances. If it's not a major we see a sluggish girl making lots of errors with awful footwork. Once a GS limelight shine she suddenly turns into a hulk-like dominator. Determination? Don't think so, it's a roid boost which wins her the trophies!!!

  13. I was a running athlete in high school. Before that I was way overweight, a problem many in my family have had to deal with. I have always been "bulky" and even with a light weight program mixed with my running had very good muscle tone and as some people in told me in high school looked like a "guy on steriods". My sister was a cheerleader and although not fat she had big muscular calves and thighs. I can't speak to Serena's experience with drugs but I can say that she was never as small as Venus and with a driven parent like her father I could see her in a exercise regimen that would give her this physique naturally. The fact is genetics play a role. My nephew can't gain weight no matter how he eats. Others have to be very careful. Don't assume from some small research on the internet by a nonprofessional that any legitimate conclusion can be drawn. Leave it to experts and believe me they are all over it.

  14. I used to play college tennis and then regional tennis tournaments up till about 10 years ago. I started out when I was 3 years old. I can tell you it is impossible to maintain muscle mass in the sport. Nobody was ever that big that could hit the ball decent. The muscle mass would get in the way. Also they could not move fast enough. As soon as I quit, I gained in size and weight. It is easy to gain muscle now as long as I am not playing. You just burn too much energy and create too much heat to keep the muscle mass intact while playing.

    I was 6'0 , about 185 lbs, 4-7 % body fat. I could serve the ball at 130+mph and have been clocked and won fast serve contests. I used to weight train, bicycle, do karate, and play tennis 5-6 times a week for 2-3 hours a day to stay fit and competitive. I ate around 4000 calories a day give or take a few 1000, just to keep any muscle mass at all.

    It's not genetics---Currently, my arms are still muscular, but have increased at least 3" in diameter having stopped tennis. I now weigh 205, a little over weight thanks to high calorie habits, but not a ton. My ideal weight that I would like would be about 195ish right now. If I got back into tennis again competively, I could see going right back down to 185. When I see my old pictures, I can't believe how skinny I looked. It almost looks unhealthy.

    The fact is, you don't want bulk for the motions in tennis. It would be counterproductive. Alot of weight lifting for bulk tends to hamper your coordination and timing, and leaves you with sore, stiff muscles.. you won't keep any bulk you build anyways. At least I never did. It does make you a little stronger. But it could never be a replacement for actual tennis play, where you build the muscle around the motion.

    The people I see on tour right now kinda make me sick. No way you could maintain that physique, even if you are you having a protein shake every 4 hours of the day. Tennis is just too tough on the body.

    If I would have taken steroids, I'm sure I could could have been serving around 140mph+ consistently. But you just don't realize how hard this would be to achieve under normal conditions, even if you have a world class serve. Just the physics behind gaining that extra 10 mph from 130 to 140 is astounding, because the ball flattens out, the racquet bends , and the strings give way. But nowadays the pros hit it in the 140's to 150's like its nothing. Bullshit!

    I also rememeber some pros from years back like Roscoe Tanner and Guerrimo Vilas. These guys had left arms 2 -3 times the size of there right. I was always scared of becoming that way, so took up a 2-handed backhand. Little did I know that steroids were probably the main factor in making the rediculous arm sizing.

    There is no doubt to me that steroids are rampant in pro tennis, I've said this for the last 10-15 years. And I knew from the serve speeds alone.

  15. I agree with the poster who said Serena seems to win more major tournaments -- a different player emerges. I watch alot of tennis and I'll bet alot of other tennis fans notice.

  16. just watched the Australian open. Henin put up a good fight considering she was up against a "huge" steroids enhanced Williams. You have to be blind not to see how huge Williams has gotten compared when she first started playing professionally. What a shame to need to cheat to win...

  17. Williams vs Henin = Steroids Win!

    Williams = singles and doubles matches throught the entire tournament... not a leg cramp. Didnt even break a sweat at the finals.
    Who ever defends Williams and other roid riddled freaks are on steroids themselves, or just blind. Dont defend the cheats, I dont want to hear it!!!

  18. Anyone with any type of background or history with elite atheletes will know that you can usually get huge OR cut, not both.

    People familiar with elite tennis players will readily know that "huge" guys are nowhere to be found near the courts. The best male players will hover around 5% body fat, they are lean, flexible and smart... Strength and speed are only needed to certaiun extent, then your bodies plateau and you get into a certain type of "cruise" control after you hit 20 years of age.

    Tennis is so full of steroids right now, I can't believe I was a fool to try to compete without their help. I feel completely cheated and betrayed by the entire sport, it's very disapointing.

  19. Just like Jamaica an island of 4 million has more medals than the US in the World Track and Field championship. Testing for PEDs in Jamaica ia a joke. Usain Bolt is the best sprinter PEDs could produce. Same with Sir Ena Williams. I saw a photo of Sir Ena Williams on a date with NFL linebacker LeVarr Arrington. She was only slightly less muscular and smaller than Arrington.

  20. I also agree that tennis has a steroid problem. Serena Williams is scary looking and so is Nadal. I like to think that maybe one day I could try to become a professional, but I have no hope as a look forward to competing against someone high on performance enhancing drugs. Even now, in junior tennis, I have played against opponents who will suck on their inhalers every change. They say they need it, but it seems weird.

  21. I would love for Serena's lawyers to see this site and sue you for libel.

    The big difference I see between the swimmer and Serena is the size of the breasts. Don't steroids reduce breast size? how do you account for SW's breast size?

    People who talk about how huge SW is, should try to see her in person--she is not as big as the action shot you show on the home page. As for the swimsuit photo, she doesn't appear unusually large to me. Some of the posters here hate SW and are jealous of her success. It must suck to be you!

  22. My sister-in-law went into body building and took some sort of muscle builder and came out looking like some of these women. I'm not saying they are taking steroids but they are taking SOMETHING!

  23. yeah, it's odd that a girl who could not win a singles match, let alone a title, can suddenly "bulk up" and start competing ,and even beating with the best of them. Other players change shape entirely from year to year; one year they're small, the next gigantic, back down, back up. A couple of the women had started to really look like men, next thing you know, they're back down again.

    something is in the water. It never used to be like this, right up to and past Conners, JMac, and Sampras.

    Sadly, nothing can be done to stop the cheats.

  24. The anecdotal evidence in support of the argument that steroid abuse is prevalent among top (or even middling journeymen) touring pros seems overwhelming. I've wondered about Rafa. Lots of tennis players struggle with patella tendinitis but so do steroid abusers; Big Mac's career ended due to the same affliction, hulking quadriceps tend to wreak havoc upon the joints. Also, Rafa appears to be losing his hair, it's really starting to thin out; could that possibly be the result of the chain reaction of steroids triggering the over-production of testosterone which leads to the release of DHT, the body chemical that attacks the hair follicles? Don't steroid freaks typically lose their hair? Again, this is admittedly amateurish, armchair speculation but it's interesting. Also, here's a point that no one has made yet. The primary benefits of steroids in producing a surfeit of testosterone are "visuospatial", defined as "the ability to understand visual representations and their spatial relationships" not growing a garishly Herculean physique. Did you get that? Steroids enhance hand-eye coordination. Tennis players have every bit as good a reason to juice up as baseball players do and that's why I believe that they do just that in numbers that are proportional to the number of major and minor league players who've juiced in the last 15-20 years. I think tennis definitely has a steroid problem.

  25. Nice try but no cigar. You did Serena's fans a FAVOR by putting her picture next to the East German "woman's." Because steroids "erase" breast tissue. Serena's NATURALLY womanly breasts would be IMPOSSIBLE on steroids. As you can see, the East German swimmer's chest is "boyish"-looking/flat next to Serena's naturally womanly figure. I'm surprised the "creator" of this stupid, misleading site hasn't been SUED yet! If you want to see "manly" looking "female" tennis players you should check out some of the breastless boys WOMANLY Serena has had to play - like Francesca Schiavone - the winner of the French Open mere WEEKS ago. Talk about MANLY! Sheesh!

  26. John Mauldin, are you serious? Serena has had very FEW outbursts. You must think John McEnroe, who went through his entire CAREER like a a cranky two year-old avoiding naptime was on HORSE steroids. INNOCENT Serena Williams is a SAINT compared to HIM! LOL Besides Serena Williams has NATURALLY womanly breasts. The East German swimmer's picture placed in close proximity to Serena's picture CLEARLY shows why WOMANLY Serena is NOT on steroids and the East German WAS. Steroids "erase" breast tissue. Womanly Serena naturally just embodies what we humans subconsciously intuit and what our artists make manifest when they draw CURVACEOUS female superheroes: The Strongest Woman is the most WOMANLY woman! Serena Williams is the most womanly woman in tennis. Congratulations on your recent Wimbledon victory, Serena! Goooo, USA!!!

  27. Find yourself involved in sport long enough, especially any number of sport that can "benefit" from chemical enhancement, for that matter a few other similarly despicable methodologies......... By "choice" or "chance" as it wereand of course a great deal of effort and increasingly less failure to that of success and you might even find yourself for while at the highest level, even if same is only amateur. I did and it ceased over twenty years ago.
    What you learn - at that highest level - amongst other things is that there are many who tragically turn to some form or forms of artificial enhancement. It's beyond sad and an effective crime to those on either team who choose to do it right, to get it the old fashioned way sans "enhancement".
    When it comes to "enhancement" I know what to look for, be it various net sum "gain" steriodal protocol or something even harder to detect but nevertheless quite effective to say the least such as HGH. No matter, it's there. A picture as it were tells the obvious. And the biggest fraud is not someone such as Williams, who very much is, but the fan who looks the other way and serves as apologist. It's identical to someone who does not lie, but accepts an open, bold faced lie and passes same on.

    On numerous frontier Williams is, simply stated; beyond disgusting. She joins many others. And the aforementioned apologists are worse than all junkes combined.

    DT (2X NCAA Champion, US National team, 1984)

  28. To John: also accusing someone of using without evidence is wrong. Some bitches are just big and manly. Every look at her Mother? Her mom must be on juice as well.

    Now, could she be on something, yes, they all can. But you need proof.

    She has always been a thick girl with that same look. Add in an increased nutrition and training, and you will get bigger especially with your genes.

    My sister played in college sports and put on 15 pounds in a matter of months. A lot in her lower body. Squats, dead-lifts, power-cleans. But her shoulders got thicker as well. NO STEROIDS. Now she has always been thick and athletic and the women in my family tend to be big, but she is nowhere near even a teenage Serena and she still got bigger.

    When you can eat and train all day like the pros do, and adding in genes, you can do just fine putting on weight.

    My sister went full time to college and played a sport and still did well in gaining muscle mass.
    Some people just grow.

    But I wouldn't say that the Pros aren't juicing either considering the money involved and I do think many do something. Even the women.

  29. I'm sure many tennis stars are on something, however, you don't have much in the way of proof. Serena Williams is a BIG girl, period. If she retired from tennis and didn't work out, she would look like her mom. I saw Serena at Roland Garros in 2009, and she looked fat and out of shape and she didn't play well and lost to Kuznetsova. I didn't see AO 2010, but I noted at Wimbledon that she looked much better (slimmer and more toned), and she played much better. Looked like hard work to me, but who knows? Also, you say she looks a lot different than in her teens, but it is normal for women to fill out quite a bit from 17 to 20-something. I'm a pretty skinny person, and I had no shoulders until sometime in college. I didn't work out, or play sports, or anything, except maybe ate more, and all of a sudden, poof I had shoulders (and later, hips, and a little more up top, too.) I have a friend who is in no way an athlete, but has a naturally muscular body, with large thighs and rear like Serena. If she doesn't work out and eats poorly, she looks thick and kind of pudgy. If she works out moderately, she looks very strong and muscular, like Serena, but not as pronounced. The only time I've ever seen her truly thin (more like Venus) was right before her wedding when she ate like a bird and did hard-core spinning classes nearly every day. Myself, if I ate perfectly, kept up with my running, and added frequent, but moderate weight training, I could look like Sam Stosur, no doubt about it. I don't think you can say just from these pics that these athletes are on 'roids. Oh, and by the way, that pic of Janko does not in any way look like he's on 'roids. My 36-year old, rarely lifts weights, bicycling husband looks pretty much like Janko.

  30. Haha. Of course tennis is loaded with performance-enhancing drug cheats, as are all the other sports offering millions of dollars in prize money every year, including the NFL, NBA, UFC, PGA, and all of professional boxing. Over the next half-decade, I wouldn't be surprised if, besides obvious names like Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal, we see the likes of Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre and others named in PED scandals.

    I train 4x/week in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and half the kids in the gym are using some PED or another - whatever they can obtain and afford. Stupid and dangerous but they figure that, if they don't use, they can't compete. Period, end of story.

  31. Just watched the US Open. Serena is on steroids. I'm sorry. He is NOT delusional.

  32. It is fairly obvious Williams is on steroids. She made a guest appearance on law and order SVU, and boy did she have the classic appearance of a long term steroid user...aka the arnold look, enlarged forehead, masculine jaw,it's not just her muscles. Take a look at Libby lenton the australian swimmer as well!

  33. Have a look at australian swimmers Libby lenton and emma Johnson....freaky physiques.

  34. 9() % of pro Athletes are cheating...Including Serena Holyfield.

  35. You are clueless about what steroid using women look like. I train athletes for a living and Black Female athletes ALWAYS carry more muscle mass than white female athletes. They naturally have a higher testosterone count than white women. I have women that make Sarena look average and they are drug free. It seems you are just trying to start a witch hunt based on what people look like. Dangerous game...

  36. It is not just Serena Williams's weird appearance. It is also her 'roid rages and her pulmonary embolism, which steroids cause (see the European Journal of Internal Medicine, May 2008).

  37. There may be other evidence to steroid use, but this picture is NOT that in any way. For one thing, the claims you make about the comparison between the the two pictures aren't even true. She has quite a bit of definition in her arms, but they are not significantly (if at all) thicker than the swimmer's. The resolution of the picture may have something to do with it, but her waist and hips are thick and womanly, with little apparent definition, suggesting the thickness of her legs has as much to to with fat as it does muscle. You can even see a small bubble around her pant line under the navel. I'm not even fit, let alone an athlete, and my calves have more definition. And then of course, there's her breast size, which traditionally steroids are known for making smaller in women. The swimmer's so called 'massive delts' really only look that way because her chest is relatively small, something found naturally in female swimmers and gymnasts all the time. Furthermore, comparing the body types of two different kinds of athletes isn't entirely sound, let alone fair.

    any google search will bring up hundreds of female body builders and plain athletes with much clearer and bulkier muscle than this picture shows. and whether you argue that they use steroids to get this physique or not, your argument is doomed. If they do use steroids, one would expect another athlete using them to look more similar. and if they don't use them, it only shows that such a physique is obtainable without steroids.

    I don't claim to have any real knowledge of the integrity of tennis (or any sport for that matter) nor to i claim to particularly care. I found this picture searching for reference photos of athletic women. This picture seems well within the norm.

    You are clearly deluded about the appearance of the female body, particularly female athletes. Even the alluded to "roid rages" are probably just blind assessments of a woman's personality not conforming to your preconceived notions of demure subservience. You are not alone in this and it is a disturbing trend to be sure. But your blatant ignorance and conviction in your self-assumed position of authority (i can't even find an "about" or "bio" for the author(s) of this blog even claiming to support any such authority or expertise) asserting these media perpetuated stereotypes as fact and basis for condemning a successful female is frankly disgusting.

    here: educate yourself:

  38. Serena is,Black and so her body is naturally more muscular and defined but if you will notice, she still looks like a female about the neck,shoulders & chest, not a steroid broad muscle man neck and shoulder area. And, for the,record, I do believe Laila,Ali used steroids. She has the same look and her,voice is deep,as Hell.