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Obviously, Gant would like to see testing done at the U.S. senior national championships, because he fears that someday he'll be beaten by a drug user in the untested U.S. meet and therefore fail to qualify for the tested world championships. However, for reasons too varied and scrofulous to examine in detail here, the U.S. Powerlifting Federation has refused to conform to standards of international powerlifting.
One thing Gant has done to call attention to the USPF's resistance to drug reform was lift in the recent national championships of the new American Drug Free Powerlifting Association. A polygraph examiner hired by the ADFPA was instructed to determine if the lifters had used anabolic steroids, testosterone or growth hormone during the previous 12 months. When Gant took the test, however, he requested that the examiner ask not just about the previous 12 months but about his entire lifting career. And again, Gant convinced the examiner of his truthfulness. This isn't to say that such a test is absolute proof that he leads a steroid-free life, but only that his willingness to place his reputation at risk weighs heavily in support of his claim.
Gant intends to hammer home his no-drugs credo in a series of weight training courses he's writing. "I want kids to know how and why I did it," he says, "and I want them to believe they can get strong, too—without drugs."
Such a stance, taken by so eminent a lifter, has widespread implications for powerlifting. "For a great champion like Lamar to come to our meet—a man who has beaten everyone for years—is a real blessing," says Brother Bennet, a Sacred Heart lay brother who serves as ADFPA president. "We established the ADFPA to restore honor, fairness and integrity to our sport, and when we attract champions like Lamar who've never used drugs, and champions like John Kuc and Walter Thomas who used them for a time but wanted to find a better way, we know we must be doing something right."
And if Brother Bennet ever doubted that Gant is natural—in manner as well as in training methods—those doubts were dispelled by exchanges like this one, in which Gant asked Brother Bennet what his first name was.
"Well, Bennet's not my real name, you know," Brother Bennet responded. "My order gave me the name as a way to symbolize my disavowal of all worldly things."
"Wow! Disavowal! So what is your name, anyway?"
"Well, I'd rather not use my real name in public. My friends just call me Brother, or even Bennie. But usually it's just Brother."
"Brother. I got it. How 'bout it, Bro'? All riiighttt!"
What a shame it would be for this remarkable young man—a genuine amateur who works nights as a custodian in a National Cash Register office and pursues his sport because he's called to pursue it—to lose his streak of world titles to a bottle of pills or an injection. But artifices have so far been insufficient to unseat Gant. In fact, he has won for so long now that, were he to lose, it just wouldn't seem natural.