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Meet Raymond Bunker: Professional Wrestler, MMA Fighter, and Anti-Doping Education Athlete Presenter

Raymond Bunker began wrestling in high school and immediately fell in love with the sport. After joining the Marine Corps, he went on to realize he had the potential to compete at a high level in the sport, eventually becoming the top wrestler on the team and then the U.S. His hard work and top-notch support team eventually led him to win gold at the Pan American Games and become a multi-time World Team member. Throughout his career, he valued competing the right way, with integrity and as a role model to the next generation of athletes.

As an Anti-Doping Education Athlete Presenter, he wants to be a liaison between USADA and combat sports, helping athletes understand that USADA is there to protect their right to a level playing field and ensure they can compete clean and win. In his role, he will help explain the many clean sport tools available to athletes, such as Global DRO and Supplement Connect, as well as athlete rights and responsibilities.

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The moment I realized that I could do this wrestling at a high level was during my time in the Marine Corp. During that time, a lot of adversity, a lot of growing as an individual. I thought my athletic career was over and that my duty was to serve my country, however, God had other plans for me, and for some reason I found myself wrestling on the practice squad for the Marine Corp. and taking a lot of beatings from the number one athlete in the country. And once he retired, we had about six guys who had to fill his role, and I stepped up as that wrestler on the team and took his role, and after a few years of developing my craft, I finally cracked the line up as the number one wrestler in the U.S. I had a very great support system, had the best coaches in the world, and that’s when I started obtaining success winning Pan American gold, multiple time world team member, ranked as high as number five in the world.

My most memorable moment was in 2019 when I made the world team. My mother was battling cancer and I was able to bring her on the stage and just thank her publicly in front of the world. And that was the best moment of my athletic career.

Growing up, I was a big fan of Sammy Sosa, watching him play baseball, and I thought I was going to play in the major league, and then I saw that he had a corked bat and something with performance-enhancing drugs, and Mark McGwire, as well. It kind of broke my heart as a kid. So, you know, being that athlete, being that representative for your sport, you have to do the right thing. You can’t be selfish and be about yourself, you have to know that people are looking up to you. It’s vital to the success of sport. We compete in sport to unite countries, to unite the world, to have all these awesome qualities and principles that the Olympics represents. So to keep it fair is just the right thing to do.

To join the clean sport movement as an athlete presenter, I wanted to be the face of combat sports, wrestling, whatever it may be. And kind of the liaison from athlete to USADA and just to build good relationships between them both. There’s this thing in the athletic world where USADA’s out to get people and that’s not the case. USADA is here to help clean up the sport, to make it fair for everyone. And that’s what drew me to USADA, to be a part of something bigger than myself. I’ll be able to tell these athlete, “Hey, I’ve been in your shoes. I know what it’s like to file your Whereabouts.” It’s just like your training plan, you know what time practice is, you know what it takes to get to that next level. You should also know what it takes to stay a clean athlete in the sport.