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Boxer Larry Olubamiwo Fearlessly Used Steroids
April 4th, 2020
The “War Machine” was surprised that anti-doping officials showed up to test him in the days before a 2012 heavyweight match.
Larry “War Machine” Olubamiwo freely used anabolic steroids for the first four years of his professional boxing career. Anti-doping officials never bothered to test him as he rose through the ranks to become one of the top British heavyweight title contenders in the early 2010s.
During a recent appearance on the podcast “Black Eye Barber Shop Show with Anthony Crolla and Richard Poxon” in March 2020, Olubamiwo revealed that he never really worried about getting in trouble for his heavy steroid use until it was too late.
UKAD found EPO in Olubamiwo’s urine but none of the 13 steroids he was using.“I hadn’t been paying any attention because I hadn’t been tested up until then (2008-2012) and I was very careful. Because I wasn’t getting tested I thought there was no need to worry about it,” Olubamiwo. “I thought, ‘I don’t even care when I come off (the steroids) or whatever’. So when I got the test I knew I was going to fail anyway.”
Olubamiwo as asked to provide an anti-doping specimen for the first time in his pro career prior to the boxing match against Sam Sexton on January 13, 2012.
Olubamiwo must have been baffled when he only tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO). The anti-doping test did not detect any of the 13 steroids that he reported using.
It was later learned that Olubamiwo was only tested after UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) received a tip from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The DEA repeatedly came across Olubamiwo’s name during the 2007 Operation Raw Deal.
After Olubamiwo tested positive for EPO, he admitted his extensive history of performance-enhancing drug use. UKAD suspended Olubamiwo for four years.
Olubamiwo was extremely open and honest about his own steroid use after he was caught. He told UKAD everything. Many fans appreciated his honesty.But the respect was short-lived.
Olubamiwo also offered to give up the name of another boxer who used steroids in exchange for a reduced penalty.
Olubamiwo befriended a small-time boxer named Craig Windsor on Facebook. Windsor opened up about his steroid use with Olubamiwo in private messages on the social media platform.
Olubamiwo shared the details with UKAD. He received a 75% reduction to his sanction in exchange. His 4-year ban was reduced to one year.
Meanwhile Windsor was suspended for 3-years and 9-months. The suspension effectively ended his career. He never boxed professionally again.
However, perhaps cosmic justice does exist. Olubamiwo lost his next 9 bouts. He scored an abysmal record of 1-14 upon his return from the anti-doping violation. He retired in 2015.
Sources: World Boxing News. (April 3, 2020). UK Heavyweight: I knew I’d get popped for steroids when drug tested! Retrieved from worldboxingnews.net/2020/04/03/uk-heavyweight-13-steroids/