In a sport as competitive as professional bodybuilding, athletes are always trying to find new methods and innovations to enhance their physique before a contest. Following the 2022 Musclecontest Brazil Pro, Thiago Santisteban’s physique turned heads after many suspected that he used an egregious amount of site enhancement oils, i.e., Synthol.
Bodybuilding, especially in the IFBB Pro League, is a unique sport that requires participants to build muscle mass and present physiques on the basis of size, symmetry, and proportions. In addition to meticulous dieting and exercise, competitors search far and wide for techniques and compounds to help them bring their best physiques to the stage.
Performance-enhancing drugs, while controversial, play a significant role in the sport. Androgenic compounds like Trenbolone and testosterone have become increasingly popular with competitors, prompting many athletes to use these drugs to facilitate a better and more refined physique. Unlike steroids, site enhancement oils like Synthol, modify a muscle’s appearance by adding size or bulk to a specific body part after injection.
The latest case of suspected Synthol abuse involved 212 bodybuilder Thiago Santisteban, who competed recently at the 2022 Musclecontest Brazil Pro. He finished the show in eighth place and sparked controversy amongst fans after many in the community suspected him of using oil in his hamstrings, back and arms.
The Dangers of Site Synthol
Site enhancement oils have caused widespread concern due to their unpredictable nature. In fact, Russian native Kirill Tereshin was scared of dying after he injected a jaw-dropping amount of homemade Synthol into his biceps. It should be noted, Synthol users like Tereshin do not represent how site enhancement oils are used in the sport of bodybuilding.
Nicknamed “The Synthol Kid”, Tereshin underwent life-saving surgeries to remove the excessive amounts of necrotic tissue. He was told by doctors that if he continued to abuse Synthol, his arms were at risk of exploding. In addition, medical professionals made it clear that if Tereshin kept using the compound or any site enhancement oils for that matter, he risked amputation of his arms or death.
After campaigning to fix his arms, the social media star received surgery to remove the extra tissue. While the Synthol freak Tereshin illustrated one of the most extreme cases, many bodybuilders have used these substances without raising any alarms, and have found them useful for bringing up lagging body parts.
Some believe site enhancement oils can instantly help bring up a muscle by adding volume and mass. However, bodybuilding guru/retired Pro Milos Sarcev revealed that shooting Synthol into his biceps was by far his ‘biggest regret’ throughout his career.
In 1997, Sarcev used Synthol that was given to him by legend Flex Wheeler. While Sarcev was able to increase his biceps to 22 and half inches, he believes the site enhancement oils made his arms look suspicious and ’embarrassing’ during his performance at the Night of Champions contest in the late 90s.
Another bodybuilder who used Synthol was the late 29-year-old Bostin Loyd, who passed away back in March. Loyd was known for his eccentric personality and routinely shared his experiences using steroids and Synthol on social media. While it’s unclear whether or not site enhancement oils contributed to his death, it’s certainly worth mentioning as a possible culprit.
It remains unclear if there is a place for site enhancement oils in bodybuilding. Clearly, they can offer athletes a quick way to increase the size and volume of a muscle, but they come with evident drawbacks over time. Following his eighth place performance last week, Santisteban’s recent use of site enhancement oils continues to stir controversy among the community.