"I was cheating myself," he said yesterday. "I did it to get my body back up to par." He also blamed the pressure of his marriage break-up.
The programme has 9 million viewers - many of them children - and yesterday Mr King apologised to his fans. "The thing I hold closest to my heart is the admiration of millions of children who watch the show . . . I'm very sorry to have let them down, andalso my colleagues on Gladiators. I did a very foolish thing at Christmas. I took a compound containing anabolic steroids.
"There is no justification for taking them - I knew if I was found out I would be fired."
Random drugs testing was introduced last May and Shadow, who has been with the programme three years, is the first Gladiator to have tested positive.Reuse content