Rules are rules, sort of

April 28th, 2009

The CBBF’s 2009 Canadian Natural Championships, formerly called the World’s Qualifier, were held on March 22nd in Montreal. The overall men’s winner was Dickens Lambert. But you wouldn’t know that from the CBBF website. The CBBF website states “Previous winner removed due to professional status in a non recognized organization.” They must mean the IDFA Canadian Classic.

But Dickens wasn’t the only one disqualified from the Canadian Naturals. Michael Kwao won the Light-Middleweight class, but is also not listed on the official results. He has competed in both the IDFA and Musclemania, although that didn’t get him DQed from last year’s CBBF Canadian Championships. Perhaps they didn’t know of his previous contest history at the time.

The front page of the CBBF website says “events which provide cash or cash prizes, this is against the policy of the IFBB.” Now ignoring the fact that IFBB contests in Latin American countries often give cash to their winners, the CBBF can define their rules as they see fit.

But then why don’t they apply the rules equally? The women’s overall physique winner, Maria Mikola, was not disqualified from the CBBF Natural Championships, even though she had competed in the 2008 WNBF Pro Natural World Championships, which is an event that provides cash prizes to its winners. If the rule is you can’t compete as a pro, then why were Lambert and Kwao disqualified, but not Mikola?

Personally I feel that the distinction between amateur and professional has lost all meaning in the modern world. 40 years ago, working as a personal trainer made you a professional and ineligible to compete in amateur bodybuilding contests. Today, MLB, NBA and NHL pro athletes compete in the Olympic Games. And in many Asian countries, top IFBB amateurs get six figure stipends from their governments to compete in international contests, yet they’re still considered amateurs.

Or is it just that the Canadian IDFA is more of a threat to the Canadian IFBB than is the US based WNBF? Athletes should be allowed to compete where ever and when ever they want without repercussion. Should a bowler be banned from one bowling alley for having entered a competition held at another bowling alley?

If you’re going to have rules, they should be applied equally. It certainly doesn’t seem like that is happening here. I wrote the executives of the CBBF asking for clarification, but so far have gotten no response.

Civil War in the IFBB?

April 9th, 2009

Contrary to popular belief, the IFBB has never been a sports federation. In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, it was just a name used for their contests by Ben and Joe Weider. The IFBB did not really exist as a separate entity until December 30, 1969 when it became a privately held Canadian corporation. The various national chapters throughout the world were separate organizations, sometimes official government entities, sometimes privately held corporations, that simply affiliated with Weider’s corporation.

Ben Weider was president for life of the IFBB because he was the majority share owner of the privately held corporation. Prior to his death, it seems that Ben transferred the amateur branch of the corporation to Rafael Santonja in Spain. Guess that now makes Rafael president for life. (Jim Manion seems to be the primary shareholder of the for profit IFBB Pro League. )

But now there seems to be unrest in the amateur IFBB. Some Europeans are objecting to the international IFBB becoming a privately held Spanish corporation. The EBFF, founded in 2002, may not recognize Santonja’s IFBB as ‘the IFBB’.

Then there is Paul Chua, the chairman (perhaps owner) of the ABBF, a corporation based in Singapore. Over the years, many people have accused Chua of corruption, of deciding who wins the Asian Amateur Championships before the first athlete steps on stage. Milos Sarcev was suspended by the Pro IFBB for making such accusations publicly, rather than ‘following protocol’ and taking it to the IFBB privately, which in my opinion would have resulted in the matter to be swept under the rug once again.

Now on March 31, 2009, William Tierney, Assistant General Secretary of Santonja’s IFBB, temporarily suspended Chua from the IFBB for not following drug testing protocols at recent contests. I think that’s a polite way of saying Chua selected the winners despite what drug test results came back. (see note below) Of course, Chua is now fighting back, claiming that Santonja’s IFBB has no authority over him, that various Asian governments recognize him as the official governing agency over bodybuilding throughout Asia, and that’s all that matters.

On top of all this, the 2009 IFBB Men’s World Amateur Championships that were to be held in Dubai, have been canceled, probably due to the economic downturn, which has hit Dubai especially hard. There were talks of moving them to Europe, but if the EBBF is fighting with the IFBB too, that may be unlikely. Sad, considering that this would be the 50th anniversary of this contest. The first IFBB Universe was held in 1959.

Note: I don’t believe for a second that the winners of the Amateur Worlds, Europe or Asian championships are drug free. Everyone is using large amounts of performance enhancing drugs. Then at the end of the contest a handful of the top 5 of each of the classes are randomly selected for drug tests, which they fail. Everyone else moves up in the standings. In my opinion.

DDOS

January 21st, 2009

MuscleMemory was down for many hours this evening due to a Distributed Denial of Service attack. Thanks for your emails of concern. (No I didn’t forget to pay the bill. But feel free to use the donation button on the front page, especially those of you in the industry who use my site to do your work. Yes I mean you at AMI/Weider.)

Ben Weider dies at 85

October 18th, 2008

Ben Weider, born February 1, 1923, died on Friday October 17, 2008, at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

June 30th, 2008

OK, I know I should try to post more. The reasons I’m not are the same as mentioned below. Too many other outlets. But I’m open to having others post here. If you want to write articles about current events in bodybuilding, let me know. If you want to write about years past, see my wiki.

There is a documentary currently out that everyone should go see: Bigger, Stronger, Faster. The side effects of being American.

Lots of clips on You Tube too.

100000

April 30th, 2007

Hey, it’s been a while. I just got bored writing “the results of ____ are now available”. And while I could have written about current events, such as who’s the latest to leave the IFBB for the PDI, or who is the latest to be arrested, plenty of others are doing that elsewhere on the web.

But today I have something to write about. The MuscleMemory database now contains over 100,000 entries. And yes, I personally type in almost all of them. Here are the current statistics:

12501 different women with 28883 entries. 27639 men with 71141 entries, for a total of 40140 individuals with 100024 entries.

MuscleMemory currently receives 1.5 to 2 million hits a month from 65000 unique visitors.

Now if each of you would just send me 10 cents…

(My service provider is in the UK, and while it seemed like a good rate at the time, today’s exchange rate is not so good.)

There are many things I would like to do with the website, but just haven’t had the time to so.

  • I would love to create a WebServices/SOAP interface to the database. This would allow others to incorporate the contest results into their websites.
  • I want to include more non-US bodybuilding magazines in my list of magazine covers. I also want to find more European contest results. A month long trip to Europe would help greatly.
  • I want to complete the bodybuilding magazines Table of Contents database. So far I’ve typed in the table of contents of all US bodybuilding magazines from 1930 into the 1970s into a searchable database. Many people have written me to say they find it very useful for doing research on the history of bodybuilding, weightlifting and fitness. But as we go into the 1980s and 1990s, the magazines got thicker and thicker, and it takes longer to type in the table of contents.
  • I added a wiki to the site for things that don’t fit in elsewhere on the website. A wiki is meant to be a place where everyone can contribute encyclopedia type articles.

All this takes is time and money. Both are in short supply at the moment. Much of my time has been spent working on other projects, one’s that may actually make money. But I do my best to try to put in a few hours each week on MuscleMemory.

If you would like to help, I could certainly use help finding more contest results, especially from outside the US. I could also use help finding people with collections of non-US bodybuilding mags. You’re welcome to write articles for the wiki. I’d even be willing to allow others to write about current events on the blog. And of course, there is a donation button on the front page.

Hacked

July 23rd, 2006

This morning, all sites hosted on the same computer as musclememory got hacked. The hackers used the backup/restore function in an old version of phpbb to replace all index.* files with one of their own.  I’ve restored most of these files, but let me know if you find any others.

New and Improved

December 26th, 2005

I’ve moved MuscleMemory to a new ISP. Besides saving money, I have more resources to play with, more disk space, bandwidth, MySQL databases, php and tomcat. You might not see too many differences for a while, but things should be easier for me to maintain.

One immediate change is that I’ve switch the blog software from MovableType to WordPress. That should mean less spam for me to delete. One nice feature of WordPress is that it allows multiple authors on the same blog. I’m hoping to find others to contribute to the MuscleMemory blog. If you’d like to write about what’s happening in bodybuilding in your part of the world, drop me an email.

05 IFBB Worlds

November 29th, 2005

Long before they’re posted on the IFBB website, I have the results of this weekend’s IFBB World Amateur Championships held in China. Not only that, I have the results of the Junior and Master’s World Amateur Championships held in Hungary the previous weekend.

How do I do it? I have helpers throughout the world. The China results came from planetemuscle.com forum in France, and the Hungary results came from 村重典昭 (Murashige for those who cannot read Kanji, or don’t have the right character set) in Japan.

Men’s World Amateur Championships
Women’s World Amateur Championships

update: WABBA World’s up too

Pat Arnold, Balco

October 5th, 2005

Pat Arnold, of misc.fitness.weight fame, as well as the person who first brought the andro products to market is in the news, and not in a good way:

Federal agents raid Illinois lab linked to BALCO steroid
Chemist suspected of creating drug called ‘the clear’

In raids led by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation division, search warrants were served on the Champaign, Ill., offices and home of chemist Patrick Arnold, who authorities believe produced the steroid that came to be known as “the clear” in the BALCO case.

Even before BALCO broke, Arnold was suspected by anti-doping officials as the man who resurrected the steroid norbolethone, a drug that was manufactured in the 1960s but never marketed to the public. The substance was discovered in the urine sample of an athlete in 2002. Based on e-mails and documents seized in the BALCO case, authorities believe norbolethone was the first generation of “the clear” distributed by Conte to elite athletes.