ESPN recently did an E:60 investigative piece about steroids, with someone named Gregg Valentino as its centerpiece. For the uneducated, Valentino is the guy who has long touted himself as the man with the largest biceps in the world.
(Case you’re wondering, that’s an arm. I think.)
The bodybuilding community has forever mocked Valentino for his freakish, lopsided limbs. Arms that were almost certainly created with the injection of the oil-based compound Synthol. Along with possible additional help from implants.
But apparently Valentino hoodwinked ESPN editorial into believing that his biceps were merely the result of steroid use. So the feature ends up being 15 minutes of priceless publicity for a pair of vein-less, upper-arm tumors adjoined to the forearms of preteen Honduran girl.
Of course, Valentino denies that his biceps are fake. Check out this exchange from his recent ESPN.com chat:
Valentino: “There’s no oil in my arms, because ESPN checked me.“
Really? Then why wasn’t that noted in the E:60 piece? And if Valentino indeed has real biceps, why does he have to use ESPN as a crutch in the denial?
Now, if you’re ESPN and you’re airing an investigative piece on the danger of steroids, would you air a piece celebrating someone with monster (fake) arms, or focus on a deflated burnout whose health has been ruined?
With ESPN, we get the former. The first 80% of the feature has Valentino extolling the virtues of steroids, including claiming that the drug has no side effects.
The end of the piece then shows him deciding to give up steroids because of the damage his public claims about the drug has done to his relationship with his kids.
That’s right, Valentino gave up years of steroids support because his kids didn’t like him anymore. Not because of health or behavioral issues.
Now for the best part: Valentino claimed his epiphany came because of ESPN’s piece on him.
I know ESPN’s biz is all about grabbing viewers, but this was truly the lowest of the low. The piece did nothing to show the true ravages of the drug, and instead presented Valentino as a hero.
Anybody in Bristol heard of an X-Ray Machine?