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Bodybuilding power struggle continues

The latest news in the ongoing saga between the IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) and the NPC (National Physique Committee) is a rumour about the launch of a new Pro Division for Bodybuilding and Fitness worldwide by IFBB President Dr. Rafael Santonja.

New Pro concept?

The IFBB is apparently looking at introducing a new era, promising the following:

  • A complete new Pro concept.
  • Upgraded and improved structure.
  • A real worldwide Pro organisation with new possibilities for the athletes.
  • More opportunities to the amateur athletes wishing to become IFBB Elite Professionals.
  • IFBB taking back control of the judging in the Pro ranks with transparency and straight forward rules and make it a professional and fair judging system again.

Santonja/Manion clash

The IFBB, an amateur sport governing body, is run by Santonja on international level with 191 countries affiliated to the organisation. According to the latest information circulating online the IFBB will have their own Elite Pro League under control of Santonja. This follows the announcement that the NPC has ended its relationship with the IFBB.

Jim Manion is in charge of the IFBB Pro League and the NPC. There appears to be a power struggle which came to a head at the Amateur Olympia in Las Vegas last week when the NPC wanted to take control of the judging and the IFBB subsequently walked out of the proceedings.

The IFBB later announced the suspension of the NPC and Manion as Executive Council Member and Vice President of the IFBB in North America.

Chang fires shots

The following statement (below) was released by Robin Chang, director of promotions at the Olympia Weekend, this week explaining the situation:

Now that the 2017 Olympia Weekend is behind us, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support and address some of the rumors and lies that has been posted online.

The following are my opinions and in no way reflect those of the IFBB Professional League, the NPC and American Media, Inc.

* There is only one IFBB Professional League.

* The same IFBB Professional League that has sanctioned the Olympia Weekend and the Arnold Classics around the world the past 13 years.

* The same IFBB Professional League that has increased prize money for the athletes from $1.3 million in 2005 to $4.1 million in 2016.

* The same IFBB Professional League that had 15 Pro contests in 2005, and grew the sport to 108 Pro contests worldwide in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, North America, South America, Africa and throughout Europe.

* The same IFBB Professional League with the sole authority to grant IFBB Professional League status to athletes and judges, and to sanction IFBB Professional League contests worldwide.

* The same IFBB Professional League that has helped hundreds of amateur athletes around the world turn Pro, despite their National Federation’s effort to keep them as amateurs.

* The IFBB Professional League is the only path to IFBB Pro status through its Pro Qualifiers. These Pro Qualifiers will be open to all amateur athletes from any organizations around the world. Amateur athletes are now free to compete wherever they wish without fear of penalty or suspension.

* The IFBB Professional League does not operate under an antiquated system with ridiculous rules, restrictions, and sanctions that no longer apply to the current competitive climate.

* The IFBB Professional League is not associated/affiliated with the IFBB, or its so-called “Elite Pro.”

Just as our founding fathers, Joe and Ben Weider entrusted me/AMI/David Pecker with the Olympia Weekend, they entrusted the IFBB Professional League and their legacy to Mr. Jim Manion.

Just a reminder…before the IFBB Professional League decided to separate itself from the IFBB, what did the IFBB offer their athletes? Ask yourself this, “ What is the IFBB offering you now without the IFBB Professional League?”

This is an exciting time for all athletes involved in our beloved sport. Don’t let the lies and propaganda mislead you. If your dream is to turn professional and one day step on the Olympia stage, there’s only one choice, and that’s the IFBB Professional League!


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