NBC's 'American Gladiators' revival testing professionals for steroids
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/15/2008
While recent reports have shown you can't be too sure with some athletes these days, the muscles sported by the professionals on NBC's American Gladiators are apparently au natural.
NBC Entertainment co-chairman Ben Silverman confirmed the 12 professional gladiators starring in the network's primetime revival of the campy competition series were all tested for steroids before they could participate on the show, Broadcasting & Cablereported Monday.
While Silverman declined further comment, Broadcasting & Cable reported the six male and six female gladiator professionals were all tested as part of medical examinations they underwent for the show. In addition, they were also required to sign a document stating they were "clean" and could be tested at any time.
NBC "insiders" told Broadcasting & Cable steroid testing was done "more for medical reasons than anything else."
Not only did one of the show's stars -- Michael "Titan" O'Hearn -- pass the steroid test, he's an advocate for competing clean. The four-time Mr. Natural Universe is the author of "Proven Techniques for Drug Free Bodybuilders," according to Broadcasting & Cable.
Ironically, American Gladiators' special two-hour January 6 premiere aired on the same night as CBS' 60 Minutes broadcast that featured an interview with pitcher Roger Clemens, one of several MLB baseball players named in former Senator George Mitchell's steroid probe into the sport.