Exclusive: Tommy ''The Duke'' Morrison Speaks Out on Steroids in
By Sean Newman
Go to any sports website these days and chances are excellent that you
will run across several news items and opinion pieces on the hot topic
of the day, steroids, particularly steroids and Major League Baseball.
Did this player use them? Should there be an asterisk placed in the
books next to all the records set in the past ten to fifteen years?
Just how much do steroids enhance a player's ability? What, if
anything, should be done to curtail their use? Jose Canseco had plenty
to say on the topic in his book "Juiced," a book that former WBO
Heavyweight Champion and Rocky V co-star Tommy "The Duke" Morrison
says he has not yet read, but is interested in perusing. Boxing has
had its own share of steroid-related controversies, although not as
highly publicized, going back to when Frans Botha was stripped of his
IBF heavyweight title for a positive steroid test and beyond.
While the majority of those suspected of steroid use in baseball and
boxing have remained vague, if not altogether mum, Morrison, who is
essentially ten years removed from the game, has been very candid
about his steroid use, and this interview provides no exception. Here,
for the first time, Morrison goes in-depth on the topic of steroids in
boxing, his own use of performance enhancing substances and how he
feels they help a fighter, and his thoughts on the stir that has been
created over this issue. Some topics were understandably covered off
the record, but through this interview it becomes clear that the use
of steroids might be more pervasive than any of us previously
SN: Tommy, you have always been very open about the fact that during
much of your professional boxing career, you used steroids. Can you
tell us when you started using them?
I can tell you when, but I won't say how (laughs). Actually, I got
into them a little bit in high school, but it was more in the pills,
the oral stuff. The injections and stuff wasn't until later. As far as
my professional career, probably around 1991. I used them not while I
was training, but in between bouts. I just want to make sure that is
SN: What kind of steroids did you stack and in what dosages?
Usually a CC of whatever I was taking. A lot of times they were oral,
some of them weren't, in the off time. The benefits were that it made
me more aggressive, like I needed that (laughs). It made me more
aggressive in every area of my life. I never went over the edge,
though, like some guys you hear about. I want everyone to know though,
and I learned early, that if you're going to do it, you have to keep a
SN: What changes did you notice when you began using steroids?
You become bigger, faster, and stronger. That's the reason why
everyone does it. In order to compete, you have to do it too. That's
not something that was talked about, but I guarantee you that it was
never tested, so hell yeah people are going to do it.
SN: How do you think steroids would aid a professional boxer, or any
athlete in general?
Like I said, it just makes you bigger, faster, and stronger. It helps
with your endurance also, your recovery time between rounds. You
recover faster when you have that stuff in your system. The flip side
of that is that if you go over your boundaries, push yourself beyond
your limit, you'll never recover. That's why it's important that while
you do it, you have to train, you have to work out.
SN: In his book "Juiced," Jose Canseco reveals that he doesn't believe
that he would have even made it to the major leagues without the
benefit of steroids. How far do you think you would have gone in
professional boxing without them?
I wouldn't have gone as far as I did, I guarantee you that. I probably
would have fought as a cruiserweight. When I was in training, if I
didn't have that extra fifteen to twenty pounds, I would have fought
there. I always had the power and the speed, I just needed the
endurance, which was my problem.
SN: How were you able to avoid testing positive for steroid use during
Because they didn't test for steroids back then. They do now, I don't
know why, but they do. It's very expensive, and from what I hear, when
they test for something, they have to test for a specific type of
steroid. So if they don't know what they're testing for, they won't
figure out what you're on, unless you just offered it up to them.
SN: What is your opinion on the current steroid controversy
surrounding Major League Baseball? Is it much ado about nothing, or
should strict measures be taken to eliminate the use of performance
I think that in a professional sport the athlete should be able to do
what the hell they want. People need to just back off and let them be
what they want to be. That's why people spend the money to go to the
ballpark in the first place, to see somebody jack one out. If they
jack one out, maybe more people come to the ballpark, and maybe
they'll make more money. Know what I mean? That's it, in a nutshell.
College players, high school players, no it doesn't set a good
example, but those guys didn't ask to be examples, they didn't ask to
be role models. They just are. They're just trying to do what's best
for them, and everyone needs to stay out of their business.
SN: Do you think that asterisks should be added to the numerous
records that have been set in what has become known as "The Steroid
Era" in baseball?
Well you don't know what those guys back in the old days were doing
who set the records. Without positive proof, I don't see how they
could do something like that.
SN: While taking steroids or in the years since your boxing career
ended, have you had any noticeable side effects or health problems as
a result of your use? How do you explain the untimely deaths of some
athletes and former athletes who have died from problems allegedly
brought on by steroids?
Not one problem. Matter of fact, I still take testosterone as part of
my HIV treatment. As far as athletes, when I used them, I used them
under a doctor's supervision, and I knew a lot about them anyway. I
learned a lot along the way. So if you are going to do it, you have to
do it the right way.
SN: Have there ever been any boxers that you knew were taking steroids
while you were fighting?
Well, there's no doubt some people were taking them, but I can't name
any names for you. I definitely know about some of the top fighters,
though. But just because you take them, doesn't mean you're going to
get better. You have to know how to take them, or what to do while
you're taking them, or otherwise it would just be a waste. But I want
to reiterate what I said before, in a professional sport you should
just be left alone. That's why people pay the big bucks to sit
ringside at a heavyweight championship fight, they want to see
somebody get hurt. People love violence, so call a spade a spade. Let
'em go, let 'em do what they want. It's not about what kind of example
we're setting for our children, because it's gonna be twenty fucking
years before they are even playing baseball or whatever. So they'll
grow a brain between now and then, and by then it will be forgotten.
SN: Did you ever feel like you were cheating by using steroids?
Hell no. I thought I was doing myself and my family a service. I was
making myself a bigger and stronger person, and I loved it. It made me
feel like in the morning when I got out of bed I wanted to tear down
the wall. I was snorting like a bull, walking around the house. I
wanted to bang everything that moved. (Laughs)
SN: What do you say in response to those who argue that a fighter or
player who does not use steroids is almost pressured into taking them
for fear of not being able to compete on a level playing field?
I never did it out of a fear that I couldn't compete, I just looked at
it as bettering my chances. I looked around and from what I saw,
everybody was doing the same shit. It wasn't something that was talked
about openly, but when you looked around you could tell. Takes one to
know one, you know?
E mail Sean at Newman @ringsidereport.com
Powerful piece of advice to the youngsters out there. Sets a powerful
This guy is a freakin moron. What a loser.
Tommy Morrison is one of the sorriest pieces of work in boxing. He is to
boxing what Jose Canseco is baseball (even before his book came out). I
remember Morrison as a guy who would always be in shape . . . next time. I
have zero sympathy for him and essentially loathe how he has conducted
himself and the example he has set. OTOH, while Mike Tyson too has been his
own worst enemy, Tyson has had some endearing qualities. Morrison seems
devoid of having any qualities I would like to have.
Honesty? He got that going for him :)
Why? Because he speaks what he believes instead of creating some
plastic image? Actually, his comments make sense...
Remove 'Elle-Kabong' to reply
I look at Tommy Morrison as I do a relative or friend who keeps
screwing up as much as you would like him/her to do well. After
awhile, you distance yourself completely while still hoping he does
well. There is something I find likable about him, but he has shown
his ability to be a flamin' a-hole too.
That's where I've been with Tommy Morrison for a long time.
No, because he is a moron. His comments make sense considering they are from
Oh, that's real deep...
Well, there are only so many ways one can express that someone is a moron.
Don't be sorry, you can't help it...
Gotta love it on a boring day. :-)
Wait 'til they go hunting bare.
heh, aren't you the witty one?
Ok, since you cannot comprehend why I think it is obvious that he is a
moron, let me lay it out for you.
a) "You become bigger, faster, and stronger. That's the reason why everyone
does it. In order to compete, you have to do it too. "
So basically he is saying everyone needs to do steroids in order to
compete.... This is an OBVIOUS moronic thing to say.
b) "I think that in a professional sport the athlete should be able to do
what the hell they want."
Well, this is obvious from his past history, however, NOBODY should be able
to do whatever the "hell" they want without limitations. This is an OBVIOUS
moronic thing to say.
c) "those guys didn't ask to be examples, they didn't ask to be role models.
They just are. They're just trying to do what's best for them, and everyone
needs to stay out of their business."
Considering all paid athletes are being paid by the fans, it certainly IS
the fans business if they are doing something that effects the sport they
are paying to watch. It doesn't matter if they "asked" to be role models,
many of us are in positions that carry certain responsibilities that we
didn't "ask" to be in. Those with character and integrity meet their
responsibilities, the rest don't. This was an OBVIOUS moronic thing to say.
d) (While taking steroids or in the years since your boxing career ended,
have you had any noticeable side effects or health problems as a result of
your use?) "Not one problem. Matter of fact, I still take testosterone as
part of my HIV treatment. As far as athletes, when I used them, I used them
under a doctor's supervision, and I knew a lot about them anyway. I learned
a lot along the way. So if you are going to do it, you have to do it the
right way. "
I shouldn't even have to address this, but for your sake I will. Here he
basically says that steroids will not result in any health problems as long
as you do them "the right way". Well, the "right way" to do them, is to do
them for medicinal reasons, not to bulk up. To use them to gain mass CAN and
WILL cause irreparable harm. Using his own experience as anecdotal evidence
that it's OK to use steroids is an OBVIOUS moronic thing to say.
e) "In a professional sport you should just be left alone.That's why people
pay the big bucks to sit ringside at a heavyweight championship fight, they
want to see somebody get hurt. People love violence, so call a spade a
No, people "pay the big bucks" to see what appeals to them. If that is
seeing "Natural" athletes as opposed to seeing "juiced" ones, than that's
what they pay to see. I could certainly say that most boxing fans do NOT pay
to see someone get "hurt". This is an OBVIOUS moronic thing to say.
f) "It's not about what kind of example we're setting for our children,
because it's gonna be twenty fucking years before they are even playing
baseball or whatever. So they'll grow a brain between now and then, and by
then it will be forgotten."
Wow... Why would he expect his kids to grow a brain between "now and then"
(however long that is), when he obviously hasn't? The examples we set for
kids start to set in as soon as they are old enough to comprehend them.
There is statistical PROOF that children of drug users, alcoholics, wife
beaters, criminals, smokers, etc have a much greater statistical chance of
emulating their parents behaviors into adulthood. This was an OBVIOUS
moronic thing to say..
I'm sorry, but I don't see how anyone with half a brain could read this
article and not come to the conclusion that Tommy Morrision is a compete
Well presented. And I agree, Morrison is a moron, as demonstrated by his
views on steroid use. There are many reasons athletes do steroids, but from
Morrison's perspective the main reasons are; everyone else is also using
them and you have to do the same or you are unable to compete effectively
against athletes who don't use them and have to have some kind of "cheat" to
compete. Obviously every athlete is not on steroids, therefore those who use
them need them just to out-perform normal athletes.
Ohmygod! Naked hunters?????
"When you look at Prince Charles, don't you think that
someone in the Royal family knew someone in the Royal family?"
Remove nospam to email me.
Well, we try ;-)
> Ok, since you cannot comprehend why I think it is obvious that he is a
> moron, let me lay it out for you.
<snipped your point of view>
> I'm sorry, but I don't see how anyone with half a brain could read
> this article and not come to the conclusion that Tommy Morrision is a
> compete moron.
Simply because he stated his point of view without distraction. In
other words, he's entitled to his opinion and in a way I sort of agree
with him. I'm not saying he's right, just that there are those with his
opinion. Not everyone uses steroids of course but in a lot of cases
they do and don't get caught.
There was nothing moronic about his statements. I don't completely
agree with him, but I certainly don't think he's a moron to believe in
what he's saying. Is that how you feel about other who don't agree with
your political points of view as well? Were the democrats or the
republicans the ones you referred to as the morons?
I never bothered arguing with each point as you can't seem to comprehend
that there are always more than one way to look at something and many
times they won't make sense to you. That's why I never bothered to lay
each one out as you put. Like it or not, steroids work and as long as
they do, people will be tempted to use them, legal or not...
> Well presented. And I agree, Morrison is a moron, as demonstrated by
> his views on steroid use. There are many reasons athletes do steroids,
> but from Morrison's perspective the main reasons are; everyone else
> is also using them and you have to do the same or you are unable to
> compete effectively against athletes who don't use them and have to
> have some kind of "cheat" to compete. Obviously every athlete is not
> on steroids, therefore those who use them need them just to out-
> perform normal athletes.
I think that is a bit too general. There are likely many able athletes
out there who use steroids to boost what they already have at their
advantage. Fortunately, determining who's normal and who's not seems to
be what the testing is all about...