I've been in a strange twilight zone state all week watching hours of arm wrestling and having mantic fever dreams about it. It's penetrated my unconscious. This small world of men locked in a never ending round of competition with each other, and becoming, by the pressures of competition and financial reward, posthuman, with Neanderthal brow ridges and giant sausage fingers, livers exploding from drug abuse, bent out of shape by HGH and Testostorone supplements.
Denis almost killed himself with drug use and will probably never compete again. You get these short, truncated arcs in sports where someone will push themselves beyond human limits and then auto destruct
One of my friends is a super keen cyclist and he loves the sport, particularly the parts about people just going beyond human endurance. I think his favourite era is before the modern times when they weren't really doing drug tests but at the same time they didn't have very sophisticated drugs, they were just injecting speed and boshing - I dunno - caffeine pills. One of his idols was this guy who always said that he wanted to die on the bike and one day his heart exploded and he did.
It's been around for a while to be fair but I don't think as an organized sport? Maybe in Russia. I remember doing it as a teenager until everyone got to the level of physical/ mental development where you know it's just not a good idea anymore, like doing pile ons.