Muscle Builder, Vol 13, Num 4, Page 19, June 1972


by Ben Weider - President, International Federation of Bodybuilders

The story I am about to tell is not fiction, but the pure truth, and the characters have not been changed to protect the innocent. I am calling the shots exactly as they occurred and if I am not 100% correct then the people in question can sue me and the entire scandal will come out in court.

It all started late last year when the York organization decided to sponsor the Mr. World contest, and obtained a sanction from the American Amateur Union. Therefore the contest was to be organized and conducted under the existing rules of the AAU.

When I heard that such a contest was being organized, as President of the IFBB I notified all our national federations that they would be breaking the constitution of the IFBB if they sent any bodybuilders to participate in the this nonsanctioned IFBB contest. Approximately thirty International Weightlifting Federation nations are members of the IFBB and come under our jurisdiction for bodybuilding activities. Because of my warning not one nation throughout the world sent any competitors to participate in the Mr.Worid contest held in York, Pennsylvania.

Needless to say, this threw the organizing committee in York into a panic. How could they organize a one-nation Mr. World contest? What would the bodybuilders say? They would lose face. Here at last is the most important proof that the IFBB controls international amateur bodybuilding when not one national federation in any corner of the world agreed to send any bodybuilders.

Accordingly, Mr. Oscar Heidenstam was approached to send some competitors to represent England. Heidenstam is the president of a professional bodybuilding organization which is called NABBA. According to the rules and regulations of the AAU any American amateur bodybuilder who participates in a NABBA contest is automatically labeled a professional and barred from further competition. Mr. Heidenstam recommended Albert Beckles, the IFBB champion, and Paul Grant, a professional. At first both were refused on the grounds that the AAU rules did not permit them to participate. According to an article written by Mr. Heidenstam himself, in his own publication entitled Health and Strength, he writes as follows:

"In the end I consulted with Mr. Wally Holland, Secretary of the British Amateur Weightlifters Association, as I knew that BAWLA was sending some power lifters for the meet. He suggested that if they joined BAWLA that no one could refuse their entry for the Mr. World, as they could produce the necessary card to satisfy the AAU that they belonged to an official amateur association. So it was Wally Holland who provided the entry forms, and I received a telephone call from York, Pennsylvania, saying that both would be accepted. My thanks to Wally Holland and BAWLA for full cooperation."

The cat is now out of the bag. According to Mr. Heidenstam himself, a close friend of John Terpak and Bob Hoffman, he explained exactly what happened. To evade the AAU rules Wally Holland gave amateur cards to these two British athletes, and because they presented amateur cards the AAU officials in York closed their eyes when they knew already that both of these men were refused in accordance with the AAU rules. The results are history. Paul Grant and Albert Beckles won the event and this means that two American amateurs were deprived of their victories because of this perfidy. Here is what a neutral American bodybuilding magazine has to say:

"We wonder what prompted the AAU to dismiss their ruling concerning 'Amateur Only' by permitting professionals like Paul Grant and Albert Beckles to enter the recent AAU Mr. World contest in York, Pennsylvania. This action leads one to ask, 'Did they bar Ken Waller and label him a pro because they preferred Casey Viator?' This question must be answered soon. An organization is only as strong as its leaders, and established rules must be adhered to."

Another reference in the same publication, where the Mr. World contest at York was given feature coverage, reads as follows:

"Curiously, NABBA's entries, Beckles and Grant, both from England, took top honors in an AAU event traditionally barred to professionals. Both Beckles and Grant have competed and won pro titles in Europe. Nevertheless, their presence-thanks to Oscar Heidenstam and George Greenwood of NABBA-made this contest a memorable one."

The above is from a neutral publication, and speaks for itself.

Of course when I heard of this duplicity I reacted energetically because it is time that we put an end to this double-dealing and expose these activities to the American and world bodybuilders. It is my duty as President of the IFBB to protect the amateur bodybuilder in any country.

I sent Mr. John Terpak, the Chairman of the AAU Weightlifting, Committee at the time, a registered letter. In the letter I sent him advertisements showing Paul Grant endorsing protein products, and I sent a copy of the article in which Oscar Heidenstam clearly explains how Albert Beckles and Paul Grant bypassed the AAU rules by obtaining BAWLA cards. Mr. Terpak cannot claim that the AAU was not aware that these men were professionals and not acceptable under AAU rules, because Heidenstam states that they were first refused by the AAU. I asked Mr. Terpak to rescind the titles of Paul Grant and Albert Beckles and give them to the runners-up, provided they were amateurs.

I sent copies to Bob Crist, the incoming Chairman; to John Kelly, Jr., the President of the AAU; to Peary Rader; to Ralph Johnson, President of the American Amateur Bodybuilding Association, and to other officials. I protested that one professional was permitted to enter an AAU contest, and one IFBB champion. I wanted to know why IFBB American bodybuilders are not permitted to compete in AAU contests but IFBB English bodybuilders are permitted. I wanted to determine whether there is discrimination against American bodybuilders.

After a lengthy period of time I received a letter from Mr. Terpak. Besides being an insulting letter he merely absolved himself on the basis that the AAU Weightlifting Committee did not object to the competitors when they arrived in York. He sent me a copy of a letter he received from Wally Holland, Secretary of the British Amateur Weightlifting Federation, who also innocently claimed no knowledge and no involvement in this affair. Yet the article published by Oscar Heidenstam clearly states that this issue involved someone from York, Pennsylvania and Wally Holland. No reference is made in this letter to my accusations and protests. I therefore wrote again to Mr. Terpak arid Mr. Holland putting the facts straight, and sent additional copies of the articles and advertisements that appeared in Health and Strength magazine of London, England.

These are the facts and they cannot be altered in any way:

Fact 1: Paul Grant is a professional, is a known professional, and had no place in an amateur AAU contest. The AAU knew about this and at first they refused him permission to enter.

Fact 2: Albert Beckles. The AAU rules in the U.S.A. at this time forbid IFBB bodybuilders from competing in AAU contests. Albert Beckles won the IFBB Mr. Universe contest in Paris, in September, and based on this he was originally refused entry by the AAU.

Fact 3: A telephone call was placed by some official from York to Oscar Heidenstam advising that if these two bodybuilders, who were at first refused competition privileges, would be accepted if they obtained BAWLA amateur cards. This official knew that this would be an improper and unethical way of obtaining two bodybuilders to compete who were refused entrance into AAU contests.

At this time the AAU-sanctioned Mr. World contest organized in York was really a one-nation competition, but if you are prepared to expand your imagination it was a two-nation competition at the most, which featured one professional bodybuilder from England and one IFBB champion. How serious can an organization be to organize a two-nation world championship?

Since I have received no satisfaction from the AAU Committee I thought the bodybuilders should be aware of the facts and judge for themselves. Two American bodybuilders who trained for years, dedicating their life to bodybuilding, have been deprived of their just awards by the organizing committee in York for permitting a professional and an IFBB champion to participate, which is against the rules of the AAU.

I do not underestimate the bodybuilders. I know they are intelligent and are able to evaluate the facts when they have them all. You now have these facts and it is up to you to decide whether you still wish to continue supporting the AAU Weightlifting Committee who ridicule bodybuilders and bodybuilding, or if you wish to support the IFBB which is the only truly amateur international bodybuilding federation in the world, and recognized as such.

I want to make it abundantly clear that I have nothing against the AAU in any way. It is a fine organization. My protest is against a small handful of AAU Weightlifting Committee men who, for their own personal reasons, do not wish to relinquish the organization of bodybuilding.

If you are an active bodybuilder, but are undecided as to which way to turn, I hope this article will prove to you once and for all that the IFBB is legal. We defend the privileges and rights of the American and world amateur bodybuilder.

The irony of the whole issue is that the AAU Mr. America winner cannot participate in any international contest and represent his country, America, without participating in the IFBB Mr. Universe contest.

If you wish to support the IFBB please write to me personally as follows:

Ben Weider
International President, IFBB
Weider Building
2875 Bates Road
Montreal 251, Quebec, Canada

Thank you.


- Organizer Bob Hoffman, King of the U.S.A. "Iron Game" presents Paul with one of his four trophies.

- Above, you will see a photo and caption as published in a British magazine. You will note that it clearly indicates that Bob Hoffman is the organizer of the contest, and not the AAU. This confirms what we say, and that is that the York organization organized this contest, although it was sanctioned by the AAU and was suppose to be organized in accordance with their rules. This article proves the contrary.

- President Ben Welder of the IFBB, proudly points to Baghdad, Iraq on the world map. It Is In Baghdad, that the world championships (Mr. Universe) and Mr. Asia contest, plus the International congress will be held on the 15th to 23rd November, 1972. The Iraqi national Olympic Committee has announced that they will budget U.S.A. $45,000.00 for the organization of these events, and will allocate one car per nation, thus assuring rapid transportation at all times. Fifty nations are expected to attend the greatest of all contests. America will be sending three bodybuilders and two delegates.

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