COLUMBUS, Ohio - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Saturday he has urged bodybuilding officials to crack down on steroid use and suggested calling a summit of the sport's leaders to discuss the problem.
Schwarzenegger, who admits using steroids on the way to seven Mr. Olympia titles, also said he would put pressure on two bodybuilding magazines where he is executive editor to become involved in the effort.
"We have to step up the testing procedures, and find other ways, and be more aggressive with it," Schwarzenegger said at the Arnold Classic, the annual bodybuilding contest that bears his name.
He said he suggested the summit and discussed the problem earlier Saturday with editors at the magazines Flex and Muscle & Fitness, as well as officials of the International Federation of Bodybuilding.
"Let's talk again about it and really think what else could we do," Schwarzenegger said.
Schwarzenegger also recommended changing the way bodybuilding is judged so that demonstration and display count more than muscle size.
Experts on bodybuilding and steroids say steroid use is common among elite bodybuilders. Athletes are not tested at events, and experts say the IFBB's random testing is inadequate and ineffective.
Last year, Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have created a list of banned substances for interscholastic sports and required coaches to take a course on performance-enhancing supplements because he said it was too vague in defining supplements.
Schwarzenegger reiterated Saturday that he would sign a bill that made sense, but also suggested no new laws are needed.
"It has nothing to do with that we don't have enough laws, because we already have a very solid and sound law that says you're not allowed to take illegal drugs," the Republican governor said.
Democrats have criticized the governor for sending mixed signals about steroids. While saying he opposes drug use now, Schwarzenegger also said in a recent television interview that he does not regret using steroids in the 1970s because they were not illegal then.
Other critics have said his continued attendance at the Arnold Classic, where some of the athletes may be on steroids, sends the wrong message.
At least one bodybuilder in this year's competition has admitted using steroids; another spent time in jail for a steroid-related offense. Last year, federal agents investigating steroids served grand jury subpoenas at the Arnold Classic.
The Arnold Fitness Weekend began as a bodybuilding contest but now includes 20 different sports, with 14,000 athletes competing this weekend. It is expected to draw 100,000 visitors this year.
The centerpiece event remains the Arnold Classic bodybuilding contest, in which Schwarzenegger maintains an undisclosed financial stake. He helped found the event in 1989.
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