Why The Enhanced Games Won’t Work

Why The Enhanced Games Won't Work

It’s a Saturday Night Live skit made into reality. Big money investors creating the ultimate Olympics competitor, the Enhanced Games.

We’ve all wanted to see how far world records can be pushed with the use of “enhancements” and the Enhanced Games seek to do that.

But I don’t believe we will see any new revelations or even records from these Games. Here’s why.

Athletes Are Already Enhanced

A 2011 anonymous study by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) of 2167 elite athletes found 43.6% had used banned substances in the past year. 

I’d assume it’d be even higher as there will be athletes who don’t want to share this information, even if it’s anonymous in case it comes back to them.

Then there’s WADA’s retrospective analysis where they caught 65 dopers after the London 2012 Olympic Games which includes 35 medalists.

From the 1968 to 2012 Olympic Games, only 26% of positive doping cases were caught at the time of the competition.

To assume the Olympics is clean is ignorant at best with many of the top performers part of a state-sponsored doping program.


Countries will (allegedly) dope their athletes in training camps to win medals.

I’ve talked to Olympic athletes about this and heard first-hand accounts of what goes on.

Which means there are likely more banned substance users who don’t get randomly tested and aren’t winning medals.

The Icarus documentary on Netflix is a great example of this.

Further, take for example Lance Armstrong being stripped of his Tour de France titles. To award the actual winner of these races that is “clean,” you need to look outside the top 10.

Usain Bolt is another example with himself and only two others who haven’t tested positive have run sub-10 seconds in the 100 m sprint.

Yet his entire team was caught?

Sounds fishy to me.

Regardless, sports like Track & Field, cycling, and Weightlifting that have a doping “culture” won’t see any more records in the Enhanced Games, in my opinion.

Athletes Can Never Go Back

There’s a stigma attached to being a “drug cheat.” Yes, it’s not technically cheating in the Enhanced Games, as it’s within the rules.

But once you come out as a doper, public perception changes… quickly.

It means your athletic career outside of the Enhanced Games no longer exists. It’s the Enhanced Games or bust.

No company outside of “dodgy” niches will sponsor these athletes because of these perceptions. It means big brands like Nike, Adidas, and Puma won’t associate with these athletes.

But companies like casinos, shady supplement companies, and OnlyFans will likely sponsor athletes.

This is supposed to be negated by the Enhanced Games paying their athletes more prize money than the Olympics.

But there are more negative consequences to being an openly doping athlete that don’t revolve around sponsors.

What happens after these athletes retire or want to quit the Enhanced Games?

Holding seminars to make money is increasingly more difficult, and countries will ban their sporting members if they attend seminars from doping athletes.

Olympic Weightlifter Sonny Webster is a prime example where Australia and New Zealand Weightlifting would not let any of their members attend.

Being a guest speaker at corporate events won’t be an option.

The athletes who don’t win medals and the large sums of prize money are destined for a similar fate as their Olympic counterparts.

No Backing By Their Country

No country will want to be associated with openly doping athletes at the Enhanced Games, which could lead to suspicion their National athletes competing in drug-tested competitions like the Olympic Games are doping.

It means the Enhanced Games must fund the athlete’s training between Enhanced Games.

I assume these athletes will be full-time professionals and not holding minimum wage jobs. Otherwise it goes against their vision opposing the Olympics.

Some countries offer their athletes lifetime pensions based on their results on the National and International stage.

For example, if an athlete medals at the Olympic Games, they will receive ‘x’ amount monthly for the rest of their lives.

That’s a very nice retirement plan.

Is the potential prize money enough to deter these athletes who have multiple opportunities yearly to earn their pension?

You Can’t Juice Up Tier 2 Athletes And Expect World Records

There’s a misconception that taking steroids immediately means you become a world champion.


You sitting on the couch reading this article will not run a sub-10-second 100 m or clean and jerk 200 kg because you injected a few milliliters of testosterone.

Even if you trained like a full-time professional athlete, you still wouldn’t get there.

That’s the harsh reality.

There are too many factors to athletic prowess, and genetics plays a significant role. Even if all drugs were taken away, the guys currently at the top would still be there. The “enhancements” just make them even better.

An Enhanced Games attracts the tier 2 or 3 athlete. The ones that couldn’t make it to the Olympic Games or aren’t good enough to make it big in professional sport.

Or do older athletes who were banned from their sport make a comeback in this league?


There are other sports that have a more popular doping league than the natural competitions. Bodybuilding and Strongman. Powerlifting also has untested federations but I don’t deem them more popular than tested federations.

However, the fame tied to bodybuilding and Strongman far outweighs the natural competitions. People want to see genetic mutants on drugs to push the limits of how big and strong the human body can be.

This is where I see the Enhanced Games trying to carve out their piece of the market. 

But this hinges on their athletes performing human-defying feats of strength, speed, and power. I believe we already see that at the Olympic Games.

So what will the Enhanced Games offer other than knowing everyone is openly doping (and not beating the Olympic Games performances)?

Federal Laws

This is the elephant in the room. Steroids are a Schedule III substance in the United States, which means they are illegal to take without prescription.

This brings two major concerns:

  1. Where do they hold the Enhanced Games?
  2. Where do the athletes train?

I’m sure Saudi Arabia will be happy to host the Enhanced Games. And maybe more lenient places in Asia.

But hosting in countries like USA seems out of the question as everyone is knowingly using steroids and will still be using and in possession during the competition.

This leads to training problems. Must all athletes relocate to a country where laws are more lenient?

Many gyms and clubs won’t allow known doping athletes to train with them because of the repercussions from sporting federations and coach reputations. 

Here’s Where The Enhanced Games Get Things Right

They actually pay their athletes. Well, that’s what they have pinned their marketing on so far. It’s not certain how much medalists will be paid, but the fact they are using Wimbledon as a bench mark and have very wealthy investors, the prize money could be close to 7 figures depending on placing.

I get this can be attractive.

My wife Mona Pretorius won a Commonwealth medal in Olympic Weightlifting and received an $800 check.

That’s her “thank you” from her country for winning a medal at the second-largest Olympic sports event.

Then, her funding for Olympic qualification covered one flight for six international competitions.

When they say Olympians live in poverty, they aren’t joking.

But the Enhanced Games may be the catalyst that puts pressure on the Olympics. As the NCAA falls apart from its exploitation of student-athletes, the Olympics may go through a similar transition.

While I don’t believe the Enhanced Games will become a household sporting event, I do believe having a rival competition to the Olympic Games is a good thing to shine the light on problems within the Olympics that are swept under the rug, such as the immense profits generated from athletes who don’t see a dime.

Anthony Amador

A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.
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