Monday, December 28, 2009

Zabit Samedov Interview: "Almost all Dutch fighters juice"


Source: T

Final 16 entrant Zabit Samedov was interviewed by website and made some comments that are sure to turn some heads. Specifically, Samedov talks a lot about steroid use and points some very direct fingers:

Almost all Dutch fighters juice. For example, in Golden Glory it’s almost a part of the club’s policy. They shoot up and fight like it’s nothing. Because of that when they get to the ring they start raging. Think about it yourself, how could Bard Hari change his physical complexion so much in two years?
Karaev trained in Holland and said that Zimmerman shoots up in front of everyone and only after that starts training. Look at what an elephant Zimmerman had become in just two years. But most of these fighters pass all medical tests for steroids.
How? They consume extremely high level new pharmaceutical drugs and go through a very expensive three months cycle. So they can get huge.

And I'm that rare breed of athlete that doesn't juice. Even though some time ago there were rumors that in Las Vegas they found some anabolic compounds in my blood but that was all settled. But I still don't know what really happened. I came to Vegas it was 45 degree heat (Celsius) so the conditioner was on all the time and I got chilled. I had an energy drink before the fight. Before the Grand Pri I also injured my elbow which they had to anesthetize. Maybe they used something... think about it, I weighed just 88 kilos. What anabolics can you possibly talk about?
Remember how Badr Hari fought in the finals last year? And then a month later he lost by KO to Overeem. I think the juice stopped working by the time he fought Overeem so that played a role.
Do you know why I am just about the lightest K1 fighter? Because I don’t shoot up roids. I’m a professional athlete, I don’t even take vitamins. I’m lazy when it comes to those things. Besides, we don’t have the money and the sponsors to go through a similar Dutch cycle. Nor do we have competent specialists who could monitor the intake of these drugs.
So we have to fight in these unequal conditions.

Undoubtedly, comments like these will draw a lot of knee jerk reactions from both sides. Those that disagree with Samedov will point out that he himself tested positive once (as he mentions here) but of course he has an excuse for that. Also, the two fighters he singles out are his two high profile recent loses, which perhaps brings some of his motivation into question here. Later in the interview, Samedov discusses his KO loss to Hari at this year's Final 16, saying that Hari got lucky and challenging him to a rematch - which again some may see as making these comments questionable. On the other side, many will look at this and immediately agree with Samedov. From this perspective, it is probably worth noting that Golden Glory, who Samedov directly accuses, is home to Alistair Overeem, a central figure in steroid accusations for the past year. In trying to step back and look at this from a rational percpective, there is probably some truth to what Samedov says. In no way am I pointing fingers at any fighters (or letting Samedov completely off the hook himself) but the idea that there is steroid use in K-1 level kickboxing should not be a surprise to anyone. Many athletes across sports have talked about how rampant steroid use is, and many high level kickboxing events take place in countries that do not test. Given this, it's hard to imagine that no one is juicing, even if Samedov's motives and specifics can be called into question.
We'll see what response (if any) this generates from the kickboxing community. As I said, expect stroing responses from both sides, and for Samedov to become extremely villified in some circles.

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