First it was bodybuilding open class favourite Shawn ‘Flexatron’ Rhoden who announced that he will be skipping the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio due to health problems.
Now it is Iranian 212 competitor Hadi Choopan who will also not be competing in the USA. President Donald Trump’s travel ban for countries such as Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen is still being enforced and will keep Choopan from flexing at the 2018 Arnold Classic in Ohio. In 2017, he also did not compete in the 212 Olympia due to the same ban. Choopan, also known as ‘The Persian Wolf ‘, earned his IFBB Pro status at IFBB Diamond Cup in Dubai in 2016.
Rhoden wrote on his official instagram page: “Not only did I have the horrible flu going around but my hemoglobin level was at 4 (should be around 14). I lost a lot of blood due to two ulcers bleeding into my intestine over a period of time. I was given 6 blood transfusions that brought my body back to levels where my body could reproduce enough blood on its own to normal levels. Since it is so close to the Arnold, I am disappointed that I must announce that I will not be competing in this years Arnold Classic 2018.”
Rhoden and Choopan’s names have already been removed from Arnold Classic’s latest list of competitors.