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YouTuber asks fans: Which CrossFit athletes are most likely to use performance-enhancing drugs? The survey results are in.

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

YouTuber Andrew Hiller has sparked significant discussion in the CrossFit community with his recent Instagram survey on performance-enhancing drug (PED) use among athletes. 

Garnering nearly 60,000 views and almost 2,000 responses, Hiller’s survey asked fans to identify which athletes they believe are most and least likely to use PEDs. 

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The results provide an intriguing insight into the reputations of these elite competitors.

Key Findings

The survey’s primary focus was to identify the athletes most and least likely to use PEDs. 

It covered only the individual men and women competing in the 2024 CrossFit Games, excluding Masters athletes.

Least Likely to Use Performance-Enhancing Drugs


Patrick Vellner emerged as the top choice for the least likely male athlete to use PEDs, receiving 157 votes, accounting for 32% of the total. Known for his consistent performance and reputation, Vellner’s clean image resonated with fans.

Brent Fikowski followed with 71 votes (14%). His methodical approach and transparency in training likely contributed to this perception.

Justin Medeiros came third, securing 52 votes (10%). Despite his dominant performances, fans seem convinced of his natural prowess.

Other notable mentions include:

  • Travis Mayer: 22 votes
  • James Spriggs: 24 votes
  • Roman Khrennikov: 2% of votes
  • Ricky Garard: 11 votes
  • Saxon Panchik: 15 votes
  • Dallin Pepper: 17 votes
  • Cole Sager: 20 votes


Haley Adams topped the list for women, with an impressive 227 votes, making up 46% of the total. Adams’ youthful energy and transparent training regime won her fans’ trust.

Arielle Loewen followed with 10% of the votes. Her recent rise in the CrossFit scene seems to have been viewed as legitimate and clean.

Emma Lawson came in third with 48 votes. Her strong performances and public persona have instilled confidence in her natural abilities.

Other notable mentions include:

  • Danielle Brandon
  • Alexis Raptis
  • Laura Horvath
  • Tia-Clair Toomey
  • Shelby Neal
  • Emily Rolfe
  • Gabi Migala

Most Likely to Use Performance-Enhancing Drugs


Tia-Clair Toomey topped the list with 196 votes (44%). Despite her success and clean record, her dominant performance attracted suspicion.

Andreia Pinheiro followed closely with 151 votes (34%). Her remarkable achievements as a 40-year-old athlete raised eyebrows.

Emma Tall came third. Fans seemed skeptical of her rapid rise in performance.

Other notable mentions include:

  • Dani Speegle
  • Gracie Walton
  • Alex Gazan
  • Abigail Domit
  • Brooke Wells
  • Haley Adams
  • Laura Horvath


Unsurprisingly, Ricky Garard was viewed as the most likely to use PEDs, receiving 213 votes, representing 50% of the total. Gerard’s past positive test in 2017 likely influenced this perception.

Jeffrey Adler followed in second place. His robust physique and competitive edge might have contributed to fans’ suspicions.

Roman Khrennikov, in third place, faced scrutiny likely due to stereotypes associated with Russian athletes.

Other notable mentions include:

  • Noah Ohlsen
  • Chandler Smith
  • Dallin Pepper
  • Luke Parker
  • Justin Medeiros
  • Jack Rozema
  • Samuel Kwant

Analysis and Observations

The survey results reveal intriguing patterns and some surprising entries. 

Notably, athletes with a history of rapid performance improvements or remarkable physical transformations were more likely to be suspected of PED use. 

Conversely, those with consistent performance and transparent training practices were viewed as less likely to use PEDs.

The high engagement and passionate responses highlight the CrossFit community’s investment in the integrity of the sport. 

While the survey reflects fans’ perceptions, it underscores the importance of maintaining a clean and transparent competitive environment.

PED Use in CrossFit: Policies and Notable Cases

The CrossFit community and its governing bodies have long been committed to ensuring fair competition through rigorous drug testing policies. 

This section delves into the measures taken to prevent performance-enhancing drug (PED) use, notable cases of violations, and the educational efforts aimed at maintaining a clean sport.

Rigorous Drug Testing Policies

CrossFit implements comprehensive drug testing protocols to maintain the integrity of its competitions. 

These tests are conducted both in and out of competition by Drug Free Sport International, following World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines. 

Athletes must agree to these tests as a condition of participation, with random and directed tests ensuring thorough monitoring throughout the year​ (The 2024 CrossFit Games)

Athletes selected for testing provide urine and/or blood samples, which are analyzed at WADA-accredited laboratories. 

The results are then reported to CrossFit, and any violations are publicly disclosed. 

Sanctions for positive tests can include disqualification, loss of results, forfeiture of prizes, and suspension from future events, potentially including a lifetime ban.

High-Profile Violations

One of the most notable cases in CrossFit’s history involved Ricky Garard, who tested positive for SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators) and other banned substances following the 2017 CrossFit Games. 

Garard admitted to knowingly using these substances, resulting in a four-year ban that stripped him of his third-place finish and $76,000 in winnings. His case served as a stark reminder of the consequences of PED use in the sport.

Other athletes have faced similar repercussions, including disqualification and public scrutiny, reinforcing the message that PED use will not be tolerated. 

The transparency around these cases helps uphold the sport’s integrity and serves as a deterrent to others considering similar actions.

Educational Initiatives

In addition to stringent testing, CrossFit places a strong emphasis on educating athletes about the risks and consequences of using PEDs. 

The organization advises athletes to thoroughly research supplements and performance aids before use, as studies have shown that some products may contain banned substances not listed on the label. 

CrossFit encourages athletes to use third-party vetted supplements to avoid unintentional ingestion of prohibited substances.

Educational efforts include providing resources on the official CrossFit website and through direct communication with athletes, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a clean sport.

By fostering a culture of transparency and responsibility, CrossFit aims to minimize the prevalence of PED use and promote fair competition.


The CrossFit Games 2024 survey offers a unique perspective on athletes’ reputations regarding PED use. While the findings are based on fans’ perceptions, they shed light on the critical issue of doping in sports. 

As the CrossFit Games continue, the emphasis on fair play and transparency remains paramount, ensuring the integrity of this global competition.

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