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Does Donte Franklin take Steroids?

   Donte Franklin is a professional bodybuilder that has competed in natural competitions including INBA and NANBF. Is the athlete natural?

Donte Franklin steroids

Donte Franklin is a builder that was recently awarded the prestigious title “greatest natural bodybuilder” by Generation Iron. As you might’ve figured this sparked a lot of fitness-enthusiasts interest in whether Donte Franklin is natural.

The bodybuilder personally claims to be entirely natural, in this article we discuss if this is, in fact, true or if he might’ve had some help from steroids.

Take a peek at Donte Franklin his Instagram profile, and you’ll likely stumble across several comments in which people make hun of his natty claim. Are these people just trolls or are they on to something? Another thing you’ll notice is that the bodybuilder mentions him being natural in pretty much every post.

This mentality is not exclusive to Donte, many big bodybuilders that claim to be natural make sure everybody knows.


Height: 6 foot

Weight: 215 pounds

When looking at these statistics one thing comes to mind, Donte seems pretty light for such a muscular guy. From what we’ve seen a relatively low weight is common in natural bodybuilders. However, we must look at additional evidence to decide if the ‘greatest natural bodybuilder’ is natural.

Achievable Physique 

It is entirely possible to build a physique the size of Donte’s without juicing. You can’t conclude that Donte Franklin uses steroids merely on the scale of his body.

We’ve seen natural bodybuilders such as Chris Jones build similar physiques. One thing these guys have in common is excellent genetics.

His Transformation

A common way to get an idea if someone uses steroids is by looking at their ‘gains timeline’. When a bodybuilder suddenly packs on a suspicious amount of muscle, often in a short period it’s most likely due to steroid use.

According to the bodybuilder himself, he started lifting at just twelve years old. The older pictures we could find of Donte Franklin are six years old. He was eighteen at that time.

When we compare 18-year-old Donte with his 26-year-old self, we can see that he’s gained some mass. Considering the photos are taken six years apart the gains appear to be natural.

Donte Franklin is famous for his aggressive bulking style. Every year the bodybuilder goes full beast mode during a bulking season, rather than staying lean all year round.

Drug Tests

Donte Franklin competes with several bodybuilding federations including the INBA and NANBF. These have in common that they perform regular drug tests on athletes, including polygraphs, urine samples, blood and saliva analyses.

You can be sure that people that join these two associations have not used steroids since they’ve become a member. Please be aware that not every natural federation has such comprehensive tests in place.

Donte Franklin has passed NANBF test and has won their novice championship, he supposedly only competed in the competition to prove that he’s natural.

The following video shows the bodybuilder at the 2013 NANBF Southern States Novice Competition:


Donte Jackson was a beast at eighteen. However, if he’d used steroids, he would’ve been more muscular than he currently is. Donte’s current physique is similar to that of Mr Olympia competitors such as Phil Heath before they started using steroids.

Furthermore, Donte was tested by federations that are known not to welcome steroid users, and this is a solid piece of evidence.

Therefore he deserves his Greatest Natural Bodybuilder title which was awarded to him by Generation Iron. I mean, come on look at his physique! There are steroid users that have a hard time getting in similar shape.

About James Smith

James Smith is a personal trainer for professional bodybuilders. He uses his experience, knowledge, and understanding of all the intricacies regarding bodybuilding and anabolic steroids, to deliver detailed reviews for every new legal steroid on the market. As an author, he may receive some small compensation for some of them. However, we guarantee the neutrality regarding the evaluating of each of the products and the factuality of the information.