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Muscle Sport Magazine

If A Fitness Champ Took Steroids, What Does That Say for Female Bodybuilders?

Julie Coram Stripped of Recent FAME Title

They say the best place to hide a tree is in the forest, but how does that transcend in the world of women’s fitness competitions? Female bodybuilders have obviously used heavy doses of anabolic steroids and not many would be surprised if one of the Ms. Olympia competitors tested positive. It was supposed to be a different story when the other women ‘s categories came into play. Fitness and Figure classifications were viewed differently, but that may have changed.

Julie Coram’s positive test for three different types of anabolic steroids may have – fairly or unfairly – changed the public’s perception on the sports. A urine sample taken after she won the female muscle model category at the Ainsley McSorley FAME Model Search Championships in Winnipeg, Manitoba on May 24 revealed high levels of boldenone, oxandrolone and DHEA.

Before the urinalysis was completed, Coram won a second contest, the 2008 Miss Fitness Maintoba. Once the results were released, the FAME World Tour stripped her of her title. There was no report of the Manitoba Body Building Association taking any action against Coram in regards to the second contest, with the organization’s president, Tom Heffner, questioning the validity of the FAME test.

What makes this an interesting case is that the competitors are not normally tested at FAME events, and this was a result of the judges flagging Coram for a drug test when they “saw her on stage and were told her body size had increased substantially over a short period,” according to a report in the Winnipeg Sun.

There are a few problems with this. First off, if the judges had any doubts concerning Coram, then why did they give her the championship? Secondly, it is not as if even one of the judges had an independent recollection of Coram’s physique and brought that into consideration. They were “told” by an unknown third party of the body changes and used that as the barometer to call for the testing.

It seems to be a moot point once the test was administered, but in retrospect, Coram may have been able to delay or even have the test cancelled without a valid reason to call for one.

With this behind us, the scrutiny may begin to be intertwined between figure, fitness and bodybuilders. In the past, the Ms. Olympia stage was filled with the type of builds that are in today’s figure and fitness competitions. Rachel McClish set the first standard, even starring in “Pumping Iron 2 -The Women.” Cory Everson started the trend where muscles and beauty were combined perfectly. Bev Francis then became the pioneer for ‘size matters’ for the women, and that has continued to this day.

Critics will say that if a fitness competitor is on steroids, three-fold, then the top tier female bodybuilders may be cycling as much as the men.

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