On Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, the IFBB Pro League sent an email to all active bodybuilding competitors addressing the issue of athletes dropping out of invitational contests without proper time consideration or reasoning. The email stated that athletes could face disciplinary action should they withdraw from invitational contests without adequate notice or reason.
The full text of the email, which was first published by Bis and Tris on Instagram, and verified by Iain Valliere on a recent episode of Bro Chat, is below.
Statement from IFBB Pro League
“If an athlete signs up to be considered for ANY invitational contest such as the Arnold (Classic) or any other professional contest that is an invitational and then decides after the list has been announced or posted to pull out, you must consider that you have taken a spot away from other athletes who were training and looking for a chance to be invited. This is also detrimental to the promoters that have only allowed for a certain number of athletes on their roster and who were counting on the athletes that they had invited.
For all future IFBB Pro League Invitational events, if a competitor has made the final list on an invitational contest and makes the decision to withdraw once the roster has been announced or the promoter has notified them that they have made the list, they must provide a doctor’s excuse or legitimate reason for withdrawal, or a suspension and/or fine will be imposed on the athlete, and the athlete will be prohibited from competition. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.”
Outside of the Olympia, a qualification and special invite-only contest, the other invitational shows for the 2023 season are the Arnold Classic and the Arnold Classic South America. All other contests allow competitors to enter if they wish without applying.
The email was sent in response to the news that Blessing Awodibu and Charles Griffen had withdrawn from the 2023 Arnold Classic, scheduled for the weekend of Mar. 2-5, 2023, in Columbus, OH, shortly after the announcements of their entry were made. Griffen withdrew from the contest on the day the roster was announced. Awodibu withdrew four days later. Neither bodybuilder cited a medical issue in their statements about their self-removal from the contest.
To increase interest and make the show more meaningful for the fans, Arnold Schwarzenegger increased the prize money for first place from $200,000 to $300,000. Since then, Nick Walker, Patrick Moore, and Andrew Jacked have been added to the lineup.
Featured image via Shutterstock/Improvisor