Your Coffee is ready.

Does CrossFit Have a Drug Problem?

Morning Chalk Up

July 13   |   POWERED BY

TYRSportInc._1657135603 (1)

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • CrossFit now finds itself at a critical juncture with steroid use
  • Backfill athletes for CrossFit Games share mixed feelings
  • The Bottom Line breaks down CrossFit’s banned substance chaos
  • Larger bodied athletes line drops via Born Primitive
QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“We have, I fear, confused power with greatness.” - Stewart Udall

  OPINION: Does CrossFit Have a Drug Problem?  

OPINION: Does CrossFit Have a Drug Problem?

The use of steroids, performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), or banned substances is nothing new in the professional world of sports. Pro athletes who “pop hot” usually take one of two routes in handling a positive test and subsequent ban and/or fine. They either:

  1. Immediately come clean, apologize and serve their sentence, or
  2. Plead innocence – that the result was due to something they’d ingested unknowingly, and are thus appealing.

Bans are rarely overturned, and after a positive test, the damage is usually done: if you test positive, it stays on your permanent record, staining your reputation in the sport forever. Positive test results are usually treated as isolated incidents as it’s common to see drug suspensions in any one of the four major American sports (the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB) on a regular, recurring basis. The problem with steroids in professional sports is there is a line between isolated incidents and a systemic issue that needs addressing, and it seems CrossFit has stepped up to the doorstep of having to face a legitimate drug problem.

Major League Baseball’s steroid debacle hit a fever pitch in December of 2007, when now former US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell issued an incredibly damaging report commissioned by the league itself that implicated more than 80 players for using PEDs, which included more than 30 All-Stars and seven MVPs. Some of the players admitted to using banned substances, some stood firm, and the game got a permanent stain cast upon it.

Continue Reading...
SPONSORED TYRSportInc._1657135603 (1)
Traveling to Madison? Drop In at TYR HOUSE at CrossFit Connex

Traveling to Madison? Drop In at TYR HOUSE at CrossFit Connex

Traveling to Madison to watch the fittest compete? Mark your calendar and drop-in at TYR HOUSE at CrossFit Connex, August 1st – 7th, 2022.

Throughout the week you’ll be able to:

  • Get in a free workout programmed by the biggest names in the community.
  • Check out the new TYR training gear.
  • Enjoy food and games.
  • Try on and demo TYR’s elite footwear line.
  • Participate in exclusive giveaways.

And, get workout tips from #TeamTYR’s top athletes.

For more information sign up here.


In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, was live yesterday for a show which featured a number of guests commenting on CrossFit’s growing steroid issue, including 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games runner-up Patrick Vellner.

Two more: Both Brazil’s Pedro Martins, and Kuwait’s Nasser Alruwayeh have also taken to Instagram to reveal that CrossFit has emailed them and told them they have tested positive for banned substances.

Great story: Excellent piece and video in TODAY about how a mom not being able to lift up her daughter who had childhood cancer, helped her undergo a physical transformation. 🥲

Amazon Prime Day: Today is the last day of the online sale and we’ve got you covered with any CrossFit related scores you can get on the website, which we have been updating.

  Austin Spencer and Nick Mathew Share Mixed Emotions on Backfilled Path to the CrossFit Games: “I thought my season was over”  


Austin Spencer and Nick Mathew Share Mixed Emotions on Backfilled Path to the CrossFit Games: “I thought my season was over”

Nick Mathew was mopping floors alone in his affiliate when he got a call from CrossFit revealing there had been a violation from the men’s field at the Granite Games, and there was a possibility he would qualify to the CrossFit Games through a backfill invitation. He was advised to return to training with more information to follow.

  • “They told me to put down the beer and pizza and get back to my training,” he laughed.

The phone call came just one week after Mathew earned 4th place in the Last Chance Qualifier, stopping his season short for the second year in a row.

“Luckily,” he said, “I had already been keeping up with training anyway.” After receiving results from the Last Chance Qualifier, the CrossFit Minnetonka owner and head coach gave himself two days off before he went back to training with the goal of hitting a few off-season competitions later this year.

  • “I want to go to Wodapalooza again, and give Dubai a run,” he said. “So I kept up my training. All of a sudden [CrossFit] messages me, and here we are.”

For Austin Spencer, it may take a little grease in the wheel to get going again. “I wasn’t doing any training,” said the Atlas Games athlete. “I thought I was in my off season.”

  • “Until now, it was relatively rare for an individual athlete to [test positive for performance enhancing drugs], especially from a regionals or semifinals competition,” said Spencer. “So I really thought my season was done.”

Spencer was at home when his wife and fellow Games athlete, Caroline Spencer, called and told him to check Instagram. “I didn’t really understand what was happening…it took me a minute to read Nick’s post and digest it all and understand what it all meant, that I could potentially be going to the Games.”

Continue Reading...
  Austin Spencer and Nick Mathew Share Mixed Emotions on Backfilled Path to the CrossFit Games: “I thought my season was over”  

Watch Now...
  Born Primitive Releases Women’s Training Apparel for Larger Bodied Athletes  

Born Primitive Releases Women’s Training Apparel for Larger Bodied Athletes

Close to two years ago, Athena Perez took to Instagram and started a campaign on her We Belong in CrossFit page challenging CrossFit apparel companies to create extended sizes for larger bodied athletes.

“Several companies reached out, including Reebok,” said Perez, the owner of Scaled Nation CrossFit, an affiliate dedicated to training larger bodied athletes.

But nothing came of it.

That is, until Mallory Handlon, the co-founder and owner of the apparel company Born Primitive, saw the campaign and realized she had a decision to make.

“Athena was kind of calling us out. I could take that two ways. I could be defensive and make excuses on why we don’t do this, or I could be like, OK, let’s fix it,” Handlon said.

Continue Reading...
  Guessing Games is Back. Can You Predict the Top Five at the 2022 CrossFit Games?  

Guessing Games is Back. Can You Predict the Top Five at the 2022 CrossFit Games?

Starting August 3rd, forty men and forty women will square off for the title of Fittest Man and Woman on Earth. But before the competition kicks off, we’re giving you a chance to get in on the action and see how well you can predict which athletes are going to take the top spots.

The details: From now until Tuesday, August 2nd at 11:59 PM PT, you can play Guessing Games and predict the order of the top five men and women at the CrossFit Games for a chance to win a mega prize pack, including:

  • $1000 Reebok Gift Card
  • YETI Hard Cooler, Backpack, Tumbler, and Mug
  • FITAID Fridge and Six Cases of FITAID Beverages

How to enter: 

  • Head over to
  • Select the male and female athletes you think will finish in the top 5 in the exact order they will finish.
  • Fill out the tiebreaker score.

The winner will be announced after the conclusion of the CrossFit Games.



Your Stiff Lower Back

Is there anything worse than suffering from lower back pain? It can derail both your workout and the rest of your life. Say goodbye to back pain and try these two moves to reduce stiffness and get back to moving freely.




Help Those in Need and Score $75

O2 Pure Hydration, Bobo’s, and Bluebird Botanicals are partnering to support the 1,400+ families that continue to suffer from the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history. Donate $25 to the relief effort and get $75 ($25 per brand) to spend with three community-first brands working to make a difference.



All The Ways to Use a Kettlebell

You know you can lift it, and swing it, maybe even press it, but there are also so many ways you can use your kettlebell to help during recovery. Check out this short video by Kelly Starrett to learn all the methods for using a kettlebell.



A Free WHOOP Strap 4.0 and Extra Month's Membership

WHOOP measures your body's data over 100 times a second to provide personalized feedback on your recovery, strain, and sleep. Morning Chalk Up readers can get a free strap and an extra month's membership when you sign up at the link below.



Grilled Peaches With Six Different Toppings

Looking for a summer sweet-tooth satisfier? Try these juicy grilled peaches with six different topping ideas. Learn exactly how to grill peaches with this easy tutorial, then finish them with one of the sweet or savory topping ideas. Delicious and healthy.


Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

  • 🎂 Happy birthday, Chandler Smith.
  • 🍼 Congratulations to Breona and Brandon Wallin on their pregnancy announcement.
  • Ricky Garard put up a new snatch PR.
  • 😱 Mike Catalanello from Ruston, LA repped out back squats at 495 pounds/225kg followed by a back-flip.
  • Lena Richter and Ingrid Hodnemyr from Team CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue took a girls day to compete together in the CrossFit Kvadraturen Summer Showdown and took home first place.
  • Congratulations to CrossFit Invictus team member Devyn Kim on her 310 pound/141kg back squat.
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Battle of Branded One at Redstone CrossFit (Littleton, CO)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)

See all upcoming events

Your Coffee is ready.