Even ancient Olympians would seek performance-enhancing substances, gaining a testosterone kick by eating sheep testicles.
A physician of the era, Galen, advised Olympians to consume “the rear hooves of an Abyssinian ass, ground up, boiled in oil, and flavored with rose hips and rose petals.”
European cyclists of the late 1800s drank alcohol mixed with caffeine and strychnine, a poison thought to be a stimulant at low doses. The winner of the 1904 Olympic marathon, an American named Thomas Hicks, was revived near the finish by drinking a combination of brandy, egg whites and strychnine. Early baseball players, who didn’t get paid unless they played, medicated their aches with the most widely available balm of the day, alcohol.