Peter Thiel is one of the investors in an organization that wants to build an Olympic Games that doesn't prohibit, but rather encourages, the use of performance-enhancing drugs
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Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel is throwing his financial muscle behind an “Olympics on steroids” — whose organizer boasts that athletes will dope “out in the open and honestly,” ‘The New York Post’ informs.
Thiel, who made his fortune as an early investor in tech startups like PayPal and Facebook, is backing the Enhanced Games, which will actively encourage athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs.
The venture — aimed at aiding research into nutritional supplements and biohacks that push the boundaries of human performance — is the brainchild of Dr. Aron D’Souza, a lawyer by training who famously conceived Thiel’s lawsuit against Gawker Media.
He plans to provide more details on April 17 and promote the controversial concept in Paris during the Summer Olympics, which begin in July.
Thiel is among several high-profile venture capitalists who have backed the project, including billionaire Christian Angermayer of Apeiron Investment Group and Balaji Srinivasan, the former chief technology officer of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
D’Souza would not reveal how much money was raised, telling The Post it was in the “high single-digit millions” — a sum that is “enough to produce the first games.”
D’Souza said that Enhanced Games are negotiating with several host cities “that have requisite infrastructure” though he declined to specify which venue will host the inaugural competition, which he expects to get underway by the middle of next year.
The competition will feature five events — swimming, gymnastics, weightlifting, track and field, and combat — and will be held once a year at already-existing venues.
He told The Post that the idea behind Enhanced Games is to allow athletes to use whatever substances they wish “out in the open and honestly” — unlike at the Olympics, where “44% of Olympians admit to using banned substance while only 1% get caught.”
He said that the events are open to any athletes — current and former professionals and amateurs — and that allowing them to enhance their performance with substances will enable researchers to get a better idea of what technologies are out there that can boost longevity and “healthy aging.”
Thiel himself takes human growth hormone to help maintain muscle mass as well as anti-diabetes drug metformin, which has grown popular in the anti-aging community.
So far, 900 athletes have expressed interest in participating in the Enhanced Games, according to D’Souza.
“Anyone who wants to compete and can do so,” D’Souza said.
Enhanced Games says that allowing athletes to take PEDs will level the playing field since most Olympic athletes who dope don’t get caught, according to D’Souza.
The Olympic Games bans the use of hundreds of medications and drugs, including categories like stimulants, anabolic agents, and hormone and metabolic modulators. Many of these can affect athletes' performance by accelerating muscle gains, improving blood flow, or boosting energy or focus.
Medical professionals warn that steroid use can have harmful side effects, including mood changes, loss of bone density, and increased risk of serious infection, notes Business Insider.
The idea of holding alternative Olympics games for athletes who use doping does not deserve comment, the press service of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said.
“This does not deserve comment,” said the WADA press service.
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