LeBron James has been accused of using performance enhancing drugs by former UFC star and self-confessed drug cheat Chael Sonnen, who claims he and LeBron even have the same “drug guy”.
“Other basketball players will hear about what LeBron does and go, ‘That doesn’t matter.’ If you knew what these performance enhancers did, you’d know it does matter,” Sonnen said in a new episode of the Flagrant podcast.
“We have the same drug guy, I know exactly what he’s doing,” Sonnen claimed. “EPO [Erythropoietin] matters, it’s the reason LeBron takes it. It matters. EPO increases your red blood cells, which gives you the endurance to play all game long… It’s the king of performance enhancers. EPO is king to everything. That’s why cyclists do it.”
Sonnen’s comments appear at the 1 hour, 40 minute mark of the show:
Sonnen himself has admitted to using EPO and Human Growth Hormone in the past, so he knows a thing or two about performance enhancing drugs.
The NBA does conduct random blood tests to detect steroid use in its players. In their joint anti-drug program, the NBA and NBPA state that “the program subjects each player to no more than nine random, unannounced drug tests during each season and off-season — up to six urine tests and three blood tests.”
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It wasn’t always that way, however, as Bill Simmons noted a decade ago.
“NBA players get tested up to four times during the course of a season,” Simmons wrote in 2013. “The fourth time can happen at any point from October to June, but once it happens, that’s it. So if your fourth test occurs after your 71st game, you’re clear the rest of the way. It’s a running joke within NBA circles, something of a get-out-of-jail-free card: Once you pee in that fourth cup, you’re good to go.”
It’s certainly a lot harder to believe James is taking PEDs now than it was back then, due to the increased drug testing and LeBron’s durability crumbling.