Olympics

Buzz: Juicing and unashamed

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Sam Gardner

Sam Gardner is a general assignment writer for FOXSports.com. Originally from Orlando, Fla., he previously covered the Orlando Magic for FOX Sports Florida and has also covered the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and MLB playoffs. Follow him on Twitter.

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The United States Anti-Doping Agency catches dozens of athletes each year using performance-enhancing drugs to gain a leg up on the competition — but few have a story like Don Ramos.

At 80 years old, Ramos is both a world record-holding weightlifter and the oldest steroid user USADA has ever caught. And you shouldn’t expect him to apologize for the latter.

“Do I consider myself a cheater?” Ramos said in an interview published Sunday in the New York Times. “I never thought of myself that way. I feel like I’m just keeping myself healthy.”

Ramos’ positive test was administered earlier this year, at a competition in Chicago. A former dance instructor and model, Ramos had just set an 80-and-over record in the clean and jerk, lifting 161 pounds.

After the lift, he was escorted to the drug testing area, where he handed over a urine sample, just as he had many times before. A month later, he received the news: He had failed his drug test for having too much testosterone in his system. The penalty for the transgression? A two-year ban from competition.

The fact that he had elevated testosterone was not a surprise to Ramos. He has been taking it for 20 years with a prescription from a doctor. The shock lies in how so much of it — 1,121 nanograms per deciliter ("more than twice what it should have been," according to The Times) — ended up in his body when he says he never varied his doses.

“The average person thinks I’m buying drugs in an alley,” Ramos told the paper. “The stigma of getting caught taking steroids — most people say, 'Besides testosterone, what steroids did you take?' They don’t know that testosterone is the steroid.”

Ramos’ story brings to mind the story of Kolton Houston, a University of Georgia offensive lineman who just this year returned to the field after 3½ years of positive drug tests tied to a steroid he had injected while he was in high school.

It’s unknown whether Ramos will find the kind of redemption that Houston finally did — Ramos didn’t appeal the suspension, and says he expects to be back on the competition circuit at age 82 in 2015 — but the octogenarian who said his life’s goal is to be on Dancing With The Stars doesn’t seem too concerned.

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“I have to admit, I have an extraordinary body,” Ramos said. “Not for an 80-year-old. But for a 30-year-old.”

Now, for some links:

• Doug Marrone's first win as an NFL coach was bittersweet.

• On the other side of that game, is Ron Rivera on the hot seat with Carolina?

• Sometimes the snap just hits you in the face:

• Patrick Kane’s stickhandling drill is really pretty remarkable:

• John Elway’s jacket got him some attention Saturday on the sideline at Stanford-Army:

• Peyton Manning reportedly isn't happy about that Peyton Manning weed.

• Iowa's football team was the victim of a theft during Saturday's game against Iowa State.

• Kangaroo gas stations are selling something called Jag Juice. I guess you drink it:

• Corey Dickerson hit a double on a pitch that bounced:

• Officially, this was a strike:

• Alex Ovechkin thinks the NHL's new no-tuck jersey rule is "kind of stupid."

• The Dallas Morning News has Texas football ranked fifth — in its own state.

• Northern Kentucky's disgraced former AD is accused of stealing $311,000 from the school "mostly using a scheme with Kroger gift cards."

• Here’s a Boise State player chugging pickle juice. Also: gross:

• Rutgers retired Eric LeGrand’s No. 52 on Saturday:

• Vladimir Guerrero retired this weekend. Let us never forget how good his arm was:

• LeBron James married his high school sweetheart Saturday, and Jay-Z and Beyonce performed at the reception.

• Tracy McGrady says he wishes he had stayed in Toronto.

• Jordy Nelson filmed a weird commercial encouraging people to visit Wisconsin:

Via FTW, Floyd Mayweather reacted the way we all did to the news that his win Saturday night was not a unanimous decision:

• If I was a Wisconsin fan, I’d still be boiling over the end of this game:

• J.J. Watt says he wasn't thrilled by a block thrown by a Titans player Sunday.

• In the twist to end all twists, Chip Kelly's time management is being questioned after the Eagles' loss to San Diego.

• He’s probably wearing Lakers boxer shorts:

• Here’s Wladimir Balentien setting a Japanese single-season home run mark:

• Harvey Updyke, still talking smack:

• Retired UConn hoops coach Jim Calhoun says he misses basketball.

• What uses more electricity: Liberia or AT&T Field on gameday?

Via The Big Lead, Lance Briggs will think twice next time he goes to tackle Christian Ponder:

• A parent snapped a crazy picture of lightning at an Orlando high school football game:

• On the night of what will likely be his last game in Boston, Mariano Rivera left a message in the visitors’ bullpen at Fenway:

Tagged: Lebron James

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