Gladiator: A True Story of ‘Roids, Rage, and Redemption


Aggressive, explosive, and boasting awesome athletic ability, Dan Clark rose to tremendous fame as Nitro on American Gladiators. He quickly emerged as the most popular cast member and became a reality television superstar. But a twenty-year affair with steroids led to a life of pissing blood, smuggling drugs, destroying hotel rooms, getting arrested, growing breasts, and lying bloodied in the street after a vicious fight with his best friend.

This is Clark’s riveting, fiercely candid account of his life, career, and steroid addiction. From an upbringing defined by tragedy and a difficult search for identity to tales of performing center stage at Madison Square Garden and bedding Playboy Bunnies and porn stars, Clark explores the price of fame, the pressure of stardom, and how the whole steroid-fueled fantasy finally imploded.

What began in high school as a way to speed up recovery from injury rapidly turned into an all-consuming addiction. With self-deprecating humor and a trove of incredible stories, Clark provides an eye-opening report on the dangers of steroids both obvious and hidden—and offers his thoughts on why steroid use remains a persistent problem today. More than just a pulpy exposé, Gladiator is a triumphant story of self-discovery and redemption.

“Clark played the character ‘Nitro’ on television series American Gladiators, and if you only read one book on vacation this year, this has to be it.” —Chuck Palahniuk, Author of Fight Club

“Dan Clark possesses the emotional honesty, humility, and depth together with the innate literary talent and stylistic sensibility to execute this memoir with stunning eloquence and power. His lean, muscular prose never wavers off course as it leads us through his unspeakable loss, overwhelming success, and ultimately into a kind of acceptance and redemption…” —Augusten Burroughs, Running with Scissors

“Enormously smart, brave-hearted, extremely personal. Filled with practical advice you can use right away. This book will help thousands of people.” —Myles Knapp, Contra Costa Times

“Aspirational. Transformed. Edgy. Self-effacing. Larger than life.” —Mike A. Snyder, MD, Author of The Full Diet