Rules are rules, sort of

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.

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