Former WWE Superstar Ryback was a recent guest on Jim Ross's The Ross Report podcast, and he spoke spoke to JR about how he first got started with performance enhancing drugs.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Ryback blames the WWE and Triple H for getting into steroids. Just by osmosis, it seems.
“I was a guy that never thought in a million years ... that would touch steroids, or human growth hormone, or anything like that. And it was Triple H, Kevin Nash, and Stephanie [McMahon] came into Gold’s Gym. I was 19 years old and working the front desk. I was in school full-time and I was working at the gym to have some money to support myself. And they came in. And I talked about this before, but I loved Triple H when I was a kid. He was one of my favorites and they were in there and they were talking about some stuff. And we would get some of the pro bodybuilders in there as well.”
Ryback looked at those professional bodybuilders, saw what they were doing, and did it too.
It's like that old anti-drug PSA:
Only instead of a middle-aged dad with a terrible mustache, it's giant dudes with back acne and rage issues.
“They kind of started putting it in my head a little bit. I know it was my choice and my adolescent mindset where I’m comparing myself to other people rather than being the best version of myself," said Ryback. "It was what it was and guys were doing it and I saw the guys that I liked growing up and they’ve openly admitted that they used them in the past. And if they do it and I like these guys, maybe I need to do this in order to be noticed and I did them for a period of probably three or four years off and on.”
It was only by reaching the pinnacle of his sport, and falling under the thumb of the WWE Wellness Policy, that he was finally forced to quit--and not without some serious long term repercussions.
“That forced me to stop. And because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love to do. But for me, I suffered severe consequences for using them where it had shut down my natural testosterone production.”