Author Sam Sheridan probed Dan Gable's mind for his tremendous 'A Fighters Mind.' Among the topics covered was use of Performance Enhancing Drugs in sports.
"If I knew I was going to wrestle in the finals of the Olympics against a Russian and I knew he had been training specifically to beat me, but then I knew the guy was on steroids, that would HELP me," said Gable. "Whereas some might think 'oh he's cheating,' for me you didn't pay the price. You're not as committed as I am. It'll tear him apart. He may be strong, but all I have to do during that nine minutes of wrestling is loosen one single wire in his brain, make him do something that isn't perfect, and he'll fall apart."
Dan Gable won a gold medal at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany without having a single point scored against him. He maintained that attitude as head coach at the University of Iowa. The team won DIV I nationals an unprecedented 16 times from 1976–1997, including nine in a row, a feat unprecedented in college sports.
Gable's attitude around PEDs is embodied in UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, who addressed the subject during a UFC Fight Club Q&A prior to the UFC 156 weigh ins.
"My thing with the whole steroid thing and whatnot - I understand part of a competitor's nature is to take whatever edge, whatever advantage you can get to be the best," said Henderson. "To that I just say if I'm facing a person - it happened in college wrestling, sadly it shouldn't, but it happened in college wrestling, people on steroids and whatnot - if I know someone is mentally weak enough to take steroids, ‘Oh, I need the extra edge, I need to do this', and they know it's illegal, they know it's wrong and they do it, if you're so mentally weak that you have to take steroids, me, five rounds in the cage with you? I will destroy you. Cause you are mentally weak.
"So I'm all for it, if you want to take drugs go ahead and take drugs. I don't really care, but I'm going to whoop your butt because you are mentally weak and that's where you win fights is in the mental stage. If you're weak enough to break down, I'm going to kill you."
Transcription by fiveknuckles.com