Peter Thiel’s doping-friendly Olympics alternative—the Enhanced Games—is in talks to raise $300 million as it prepares its first edition

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The Enhanced Games, a planned Olympics-style event that welcomes doping and is backed by billionaire Peter Thiel, is in talks to raise around $300 million.

The London-based company held initial talks with several potential investors, including sovereign wealth funds, for a mixture of debt and equity financing ahead of its first competition next year, co-founder Christian Angermayer said in an interview. He declined to share further details on the terms.

The Enhanced Games made a splashy debut in 2023, promising an annual event that allows competitors to use performance-enhancing drugs and features track and field, swimming, weightlifting and other sports. The organization is also backed by Balaji Srinivasan, a crypto investor and former Coinbase Inc. executive. 

The concept has been slammed by the International Olympic Committee and anti-doping authorities as a violation of fair play and dangerous for athletes’ health. Most sports leagues and federations globally ban performance-enhancing drugs. 

“I believe science is on my side,” Angermayer said, adding that many anonymous surveys have shown that doping is widespread among athletes in competitive sports. 

All competitors will required to undergo medical screenings and can only take substances approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, such as anabolic steroids and growth hormones, according to Angermayer. “They have very, very little risk if done properly,” he said.

A prolific investor, Angermayer has backed a range of companies through his family office, Apeiron Investment Group, in biotech and frontier fields like longevity and psilocybin-based therapeutics. Apeiron has also invested in football club Venezia FC and partnered with the E1 Series team of former FC Chelsea player Didier Drogba through its affiliated sports investment group Chiron.

Angermayer said the Enhanced Games began with around $10 million in capital.

The company’s co-founder and President Aron D’Souza led the litigation that bankrupted Gawker Media LLC. The $140 million invasion-of-privacy lawsuit from former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan was funded by Thiel.

Srinivasan and a representative for Thiel didn’t respond to emails seeking comment.

The games will feature ten disciplines, including freestyle swimming, the 100-meter dash and combat sports. While they don’t have a set date or location yet, Angermayer said multiple cities have expressed interest in hosting the inaugural event. 

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