Scroll through Matt Morsia’s Instagram comments and you’ll likely find a few people questioning whether he’s a natural bodybuilder or if he’s ever used enhancements... except not in such nice words.
Well, Matt’s had enough of the rumours. He’s taken matters into his own hands, undergoing comprehensive testing for performance-enhancing substances. He believes the thoroughness and quality of the testing — urine and blood sent to one lab, a separate blood sample sent to another, and a polygraph — will put the matter to bed for good. He told us:
"I wanted to do it as stringently as you can possibly do. So firstly, I wanted to get a WADA lab involved because that is the top tier of drug testing. It doesn’t get more stringent than that."
This video is just the first in a series that’ll show Matt getting tested every couple of weeks. In this episode we see Matt grilled by the polygrapher examiner — trust us, it’s intense — and provide blood and urine samples in what can be fairly described as intimate circumstances.
We were eager to find out more about what motivated Matt to do the series, so we caught up with him to get the details. He provided some really thoughtful and passionate answers, which we’ve included throughout this article.
Anyway, on to the question on everyone’s mind: is Matt Morsia natural or not?
“They’re saying I'm a liar”
Matt’s been accused of using performance and image enhancers for years. Up until recently, he found it easy enough to brush aside.
“I've been getting steroid accusations, drug accusations, being accused of being a “fake natty” for like four, five, maybe six years on YouTube and social media. Now to be honest, it's not a big deal. My content is not exclusively fitness based, and I don’t get it all the time, so I'm not too fussed, and I've just kind of seen it as a compliment or found it funny and haven't been too bothered.”
But recently he has taken more issue with it. Not just because the accusations question his character and lessen his accomplishments, but also because of the effect it can have on younger gym-goers.
“More recently, it's started to grate on me more because ultimately someone... is not only saying that I'm taking drugs, they’re also saying I'm a liar, and I obviously take issue with that.
“It annoys me that the bar currently on social media is so low for what is possible as a natural athlete. I think people think that anyone who looks half decent, is relatively lean, is relatively strong, then they have to be on drugs, which is ridiculous, and it just sets an extremely low ceiling for teenagers who then think ‘I need to take drugs if I want to get in good shape’, which obviously couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Ultimately for Matt, these accusations create unhealthy perceptions of gym training.
“If you want to get in sick shape, you want to get strong, you want to achieve those goals, you don’t have to take drugs, it's not a requirement.”
“There is no hiding place”
Matt has pulled in the big guns to prove he’s all natural. Dr Andrew Chappell, president of World Natural Bodybuilding Federation UK (WNBF UK) was present to oversee the testing, which involved the filling of several blood vials, a heavily supervised urine sampling, and a rather intense lie detector test.
The blood and urine samples have been sent to a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) lab, the same organisation that tests Olympic athletes. The urine sample will be tested for everything on the banned substance list, and the blood samples will be tested for growth hormone-related factors and other steroid metabolites.
But that wasn’t enough for Matt; he and his team found another lab, in Spain, that offers even more stringent testing, that would reveal any attempts at masking or any drug use in recent weeks — testing that isn’t available in the UK.
“We added in more testing. So urine to go to a WADA lab, blood to go to a WADA lab, and then an additional set of blood, which goes to another lab — which was a ball ache to organise — that’s going to go to a lab in Spain.
“Basically, none of the labs in the UK test for these things. There are kind of various hormone levels and other metrics and no labs in the UK do that, so I had to find a lab that had a link with a lab in Spain, sent it to those guys and what those metrics show is that if you were masking something or you’ve recently come off something, other levels would be elevated as a result.”
“Have you ever taken a banned substance?”
The blood and urine tests will be able to detect any banned substances in Matt’s system, even on a more long-term scale. But what about in his lifetime? Enter Jason Hubble, owner of Lie Detectors UK and someone you wouldn’t want to tell fibs to in a dark alley.
Jason ran the same test on Matt that a police officer would run on someone suspected of committing a crime. He hooked him up to a movement sensor, a blood pressure cuff, stickers to measure sweat gland activity, a plethysmograph to measure the blood in the hands and feet, and chest sensors.
Matt then answered a series of questions, the key one being “have you ever knowingly taken a banned substance?”, to which Matt replied “no”.
Matt passed the lie detector with flying colours. Jason says there was “no deception indicated”.
“It's not possible for a human to get more thoroughly drug tested than I’m doing here”
We asked Matt about his reasons for wanting to do the testing. He seems excited by the potential of the series and confident that it will have a positive impact.
“I get the results back soon. I'm then going to go into a series of random testing to make it even more ridiculously watertight. I'm going to be doing a series of random testing over the period of a few months, which then means not only am I doing the most stringent testing possible. I'm also doing it randomly so there is literally no way I could be getting around it.”
He’ll be maintaining his strength too, if not hitting a few new PBs.
“My intention is I'll be maintaining my strength, maintaining my physique at the same time. That shows that not only am I 100% natural but also I always have been because you obviously wouldn’t stop taking drugs and maintain your physique and your strength. So that’s my plan. I'll be getting tested more thoroughly than an Olympic 100m medallist. It's not possible for a human to get more thoroughly drug tested than I’m doing here, and I'm the first person on social media to go about something like this.”
“I think it will raise the bar”
Matt doesn’t just want to prove he’s “100% natty”. He also wants to give others — especially young gym-goers — confidence that they can achieve their fitness goals without the help of performance-enhancing substances.
“I think it will be cool, I think it’ll be eye opening, I think it’ll raise the bar in terms of what people perceive as being possible for natural athletes. And also, it'll give other people in my situation a potential avenue to then go about it themselves, to also prove that they're natural, and have that knock-on effect too, so that younger people and people wanting to achieve fitness goals realise that they don’t need to take drugs to do that.”
Take home message
It’s been a long time coming, but Matt has finally kicked off this testing series. It’ll hopefully put a lot of rumours to rest. Matt seems passionate about it too — not just for the sake of his own reputation but for the perceptions of natural bodybuilding also. We’ll be keeping up with every episode and can’t wait to see what PB Matt will hit next. Stay tuned for those results.
Want more from Matt?
READ THESE NEXT: