Nathan De Asha, Mohamed Shaaban Out of 2022 Arnold Classic Due to Injuries

Both Open competitors suffered physical setbacks that will keep them out of the contest.

The 2022 Arnold Classic Men’s Open bodybuilding contest, scheduled for the weekend of Mar. 4-5, 2022 in Columbus, OH, has suffered two further losses to the roster less than four weeks before the competition. On Feb. 7, 2022, IFBB Pro League bodybuilders Nathan De Asha and Mohamed Shaaban posted on their respective Instagram pages that they would remove themselves from the contest due to injuries. The announcements have no connection other than being posted on the same day.

De Asha Suffers Torn Bicep

De Asha’s post came first in the form of a five-minute-plus-long video on his Instagram page. The 2021 Arnold Classic UK Champion, while wearing a sling on his left arm, revealed that he felt a pain in his left biceps during a photoshoot. He felt similar pain on a second occasion, which led him to see a physician about it. De Asha revealed the injury at the 56-second mark in the video below:


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“He said to me that I had a small tear in the biceps, basically on the lower biceps,” De Asha said. “He said that I could rehab it for four to six weeks, but it may not be as strong as it once was.”

Instead, De Asha reported that he opted to have surgery, which included a small incision on the forearm and reattachment with a tendon from another person. While he feels optimistic about his recovery, he formally announced that he would not compete in the Arnold Classic later in the video. While he will not be in the contest, he expressed that he liked his chances of standing onstage with the rest of the lineup.

I believe I would’ve been battling onstage with the likes of the top guys for that title. But, be reassured, I will be there in 2023.

De Asha is qualified for the 2022 Olympia, thanks to his victory in the 2021 Arnold UK contest. Whenever he competes again, he will be searching for his tenth professional victory.

Mohamed Shaaban’s Back Injuries

Shaaban was preparing for the Arnold Classic with hopes of earning his first professional victory. He qualified for the 2021 Olympia by points in the Olympia Qualification System and ranked 10th overall on bodybuilding’s biggest stage. On the evening of Feb. 7, 2022, Shaaban posted images of a doctor’s report that revealed that he had multiple injuries to his spinal cord. In the post’s caption, Shaaban explained that he’d been dealing with these issues for several months.


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“This has been a pain that I’ve dealt with since before the Olympia of last year,” Shaaban wrote in part. “I tried my best to push through, but after several doctor visits in Egypt and California, my doctors believe that it is best I sit this (Arnold Classic) out and fully recover, or else I won’t be able to compete in the future.”

Shaaban shared that even though he won’t compete in Columbus, he hopes to return to their stage in the future, potentially competing later in 2022.

When it comes down to it, I hope I can heal quick enough to prepare for other shows I need to compete in to qualify for the 2022 Mr. Olympia.

Arnold Sports Festival officials had not received direct messages from either competitor at the time of this article’s publication. Still, they have confirmed to BarBend that replacements would not be named should they formally withdraw from the contest. These absences come after the withdrawal of Rafael Brandao, who opted out in January of 2022. With those men out of the lineup, the remaining 11 contenders for the 2022 Arnold Classic are listed below in alphabetical order:

2022 Arnold Classic Roster

For information about the 2022 Arnold Classic, as well as purchasing tickets or the pay-per-view livestream, go to

Featured Posts: @nathandeasha2 and mo.shaaban_ifbbpro on Instagram