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Peter Thiel invests in group to recreate the Olympics on steroids — literally

Peter Thiel
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.Marco Bello/Getty Images
  • Peter Thiel has invested in an effort to create an Olympic Games that welcomes doping.

  • The PayPal cofounder was one of several investors named Wednesday in the Enhanced Games.

  • The Olympics prohibits many drugs. Medical professionals say steroid use can have harmful side effects.

Peter Thiel is backing an effort to create an Olympic Games that welcomes using performance-enhancing drugs.

The PayPal and Palantir cofounder was named as one of several VCs investing in The Enhanced Games in a press release Wednesday. Also named were Christian Angermayer's Apeiron Investment Group and former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan.

"Just as the ancient Olympics were revived and renovated in 1896 for the Victorian world, the Enhanced Games is once again renovating the Olympic model for the twenty-first century," said Aron D'Souza, president of the Enhanced Games, in a press release Wednesday. "In the era of accelerating technological and scientific change, the world needs a sporting event that embraces the future, particularly advances in medical science."

The Enhanced Games plans to have "health checks before and after competitions" as well as "advanced screening to check for pre-existing conditions, for example, cardiac risk," said Dr. Michael Sagner, MD, of King's College London, who is a member of the Enhanced Games' Scientific and Medical Advisory Commission, in the press release.

Medical professionals warn that steroid use can have harmful side effects, including mood changes, loss of bone density, and increased risk of serious infection.

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.

Just this week, Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was retroactively disqualified from the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled she'd violated anti-doping rules.

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