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Volume III Book 1 of author Randy Roach’s Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors series, subtitled The Comebacks, starts out covering the transition from Frank Zane’s three year stint as Mr. Olympia to the two controversial Mr. Olympia contests following Zane’s final victory in 1979. Inside information on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1980 comeback is thoroughly detailed as well as Franco Columbu’s contentious comeback the following year which seemed to add insult to injury.
Here’s a Built Report primer on the 1980 Mr.Olympia:
Since this is only book 1 of volume III, I am interested in where Randy’s research on the future of physical culture will take us in Volume III Book 2 and beyond. Below is a transcript from an interview Randy did with Michael Petrella that may spark your interest as to what’s in store:
Michael Petrella: All this money is creating these better athletes, better programs, and its such a huge business. What’s the next evolution?
Randy Roach: Well, that’s the scary part. The steroids are old news but they’ve been so effective that they’ve been around for forty, fifty years because they work but technology is taking us into more scary realms. There’s this size, speed, and strength…you get to cycling and there’s endurance, and then you get into manipulating of the red blood cells and blood doping. For years blood doping has been around where somebody would give a pint of their blood, come back once their bodies rebuilt that blood, and then put the other blood back in and increase red blood cell oxygen capacity. Some guys were just taking a pint of somebody else’s blood so they didn’t have to endure that rebuilding process. Now we’re looking into getting into whats called ‘gene doping’ and this is an area that I would find scary because its also entered the realm of food in terms of genetically modified foods that were eating. They’re going to take certain genetic characteristics that enhance sports, athletics, and performance and jack those genes into somebody that doesn’t have them… and that’s a hit or miss.
The genome is a technology that they’re just beginning to understand and it is so complex and multi-dimensional. In fact, they’re wondering if the word ‘gene’ might be too vague and so the’re just throwing these genes in that genome knowing now that this gene may work with that gene, the genome flips three dimensionally to work with this group of genes, a fourth dimension with time involved… its really a crap shoot but that’s where its heading and how do you test for that? The athletes can beat the tests. In fact, most people who get caught… they question them and ask “why were you so stupid to get caught?” It doesn’t matter how sophisticated they make the test. They always stay one step ahead. When you get into gene manipulation…are you going to have to map the person’s genome when they’re born and then compare it to them after they get into the field of athletics and see if there’s been an alteration? This is not my area of expertise because it is somewhat new but I’ll be learning more about it as I get involved in volume 3 of Muscle, Smoke and Mirrors and take us into current times.