Ben Garard Talks about His Brother’s Drug Ban from The 2017 CrossFit Games

"My heart is hurting for him, his identity has been shattered to pieces & I am sharing his pain."

Life will only ever throw at you what it knows you can handle.

I’ve taken the time to gather my thoughts & think deeply about what has just unfolded in my younger brothers world.  My heart is hurting for him, his identity has been shattered to pieces & I am sharing his pain. 

As much as he is the one in the spotlight, you have all witnessed the unique bond we share, how connected we are as brothers, the energy I have put into his journey & as you can appreciate this news is having a really heavy impact on me also. 

For Ricky, this is much more than receiving a positive drug test for the use of SARMS tablets & a major penalty of a 4 year suspension from the sport. This is now a much bigger lesson in life. 
It has become a confronting test for him to grow from a boy into a man, it has forced him to go inwards, own the decisions he has made & figure out where his true values lie as a person. 
I admire his level of maturity, strength of character & the way he is dealing with one of the biggest statements in CrossFit Games history. 

Not for a second can you take away the hard work he has endured, the years of dedication he put into his athletic abilities & the daily sacrifices he has made along the way to be this calibre of athlete. 

I am hurt, sad & disappointed that he has put himself in this position. It is extremely tough for my family & everybody that has supported his journey. It’s important to remind ourselves to punish his wrong doing, encourage him to learn from it, but not punish him as a person. 

We have shared an entire life together, I love this guy more than anyone & I will not let this incident define him. I am extremely concerned for his wellbeing, his immediate future as an athlete & I will continue to have his back until he rises again. 

I’ve seen first hand behind the highlight reels of social media that he is a legit athlete, he knows how to work his arse off, grind in the gym & he truly has what it takes to be a world champion someday. He wanted to win, he wanted the title, he did everything in his power in the pursuit of achieving it & he dedicated his life towards that vision he created for himself.

Along the way he has made a poor error in judgment & clearly lacked the adequate research for what he has put in his body. 

This is definitely not a post making excuses for my brother, but one main thing I want to express & be clear on is where his true intentions lie. 

This outcome immediately made me think back to when I was in the same building as he walked out of the drug testing room at The CrossFit Games, after he just placed third in the world. As he walked over to me he had his head high, he was proud of his efforts, there was no discussion of this possibility & it didn’t cross his mind for a second that he could be in this position. 

Words are cheap, but it’s those specific moments of action that stand out to me that give me the confidence that he was not intentionally cheating. He has never set out with the intention to gain an unfair advantage over others, out smart the system or do anything illegal. The testing procedures & protocols need to be tightened up year round, not just in season. The CrossFit Games directors are making bold statements & projecting to the world that it’s a drug free sport, yet personally I don’t know of a single athlete that has been tested in the off season outside of the annual Regionals & Games competitions. Ricky was taking the exact same supplements at The Pacific Regionals as he did at The CrossFit Games, he never had an issue with his drug testing there so why would he change anything if it was working & what he thought was within the rules of the sport. 

The part that disturbs me the most is that The CrossFit Games own the right to disclose positive drug tests at their discretion. Giving the organisation full authority over who gets exposed & who potentially stays protected. 

It confirms my perception that I’ve had for many years that ultimately this is a billion dollar business, utilising The CrossFit Games as an avenue for marketing, exposure & to drive sales to the wider organisation. As much as people think it is a legit sport testing for the Fittest on Earth, there is no equality or guarantee that each athlete will receive the same drug testing protocols & there are major loop holes in their current system.

Life will only ever throw at you what it knows you can handle. I've taken the time to gather my thoughts & think deeply about what has just unfolded in my younger brothers world. My heart is hurting for him, his identity has been shattered to pieces & I am sharing his pain. As much as he is the one in the spotlight, you have all witnessed the unique bond we share, how connected we are as brothers, the energy I have put into his journey & as you can appreciate this news is having a really heavy impact on me also. For Ricky, this is much more than receiving a positive drug test for the use of SARMS tablets & a major penalty of a 4 year suspension from the sport. This is now a much bigger lesson in life. It has become a confronting test for him to grow from a boy into a man, it has forced him to go inwards, own the decisions he has made & figure out where his true values lie as a person. I admire his level of maturity, strength of character & the way he is dealing with one of the biggest statements in CrossFit Games history. Not for a second can you take away the hard work he has endured, the years of dedication he put into his athletic abilities & the daily sacrifices he has made along the way to be this calibre of athlete. I am hurt, sad & disappointed that he has put himself in this position. It is extremely tough for my family & everybody that has supported his journey. It's important to remind ourselves to punish his wrong doing, encourage him to learn from it, but not punish him as a person. We have shared an entire life together, I love this guy more than anyone & I will not let this incident define him. I am extremely concerned for his wellbeing, his immediate future as an athlete & I will continue to have his back until he rises again. I've seen first hand behind the highlight reels of social media that he is a legit athlete, he knows how to work his arse off, grind in the gym & he truly has what it takes to be a world champion someday. He wanted to win, he wanted the title, he did everything in his power in the pursuit of achieving it & he dedicated his life towards that vision he created for himself. \ Post CONTINUES ⬇️ //

A post shared by Ben Garard (@bennygarard) on

More news on the drug ban:

Pat Vellner Responds to Garard’s Drug Suspension and 4 Year Ban

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About The Author

Editor-In-Chief at BOXROX. I come from a background of rugby and weightlifting. Growing up in the English Lake District, I spent a great deal of time swimming in its stunning lakes and rivers. In 2015 my brothers and I became the first people to swim the 145km length of the River Eden, from source to mouth, in 9 days. We also swam the Corryvreckan whirlpool, the third largest in the world, and Crossfit is a huge part of my training for these events.

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