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Marin, with the help of nurse Ruth Greenliegh, used old Soviet experiments to create a steroid to improve their performance. This was administered through the steam in the saunas with each member apparently aware that they were being drugged. However, as they experienced the normal symptoms such as depression and headaches, prolonged use led the boys transforming into Gill Monsters.
- "Oh, forgive me, your swimteamliness."
- ―Xander mocking Cameron.[src]
Being a member of the swim team was considered prestigious and gained popularity. Because of this, most of the swim team members gained a self-absorbed arrogance, bullying the likes of Xander Harris and Jonathan Levinson, the latter of which tried out to make the team but couldn't due to his asthma. They were also entitled to several unfair advantages such as Principal Snyder's insistence that Willow Rosenberg pass Gage Petronzi regardless of his performance on test scores or general lack of enthusiasm to do school work. Snyder even took Cameron's side of the story when Buffy Summers gave him a broken nose after he sexually harassed her, more interested in winning the State Championship than the welfare of the students.
They were even considered special by their peers, since cheerleader Cordelia Chase was not only impressed by Xander's appearance in a speedo but by the fact he was a qualified member of the swim team, believing it would elevate her status after being rejected by Harmony Kendall and the Cordettes for dating the then unpopular Xander.
- "Go Fish"