After months of grueling contest preparation, Mr. Guyana Bodybuilding and Men’s Physique champions, Kerwin Clarke and Emmerson Campbell, respectively, have been ruled out of competing at the Arnold Amateur scheduled for next month in Columbus, Ohio without flexing a muscle.
The two bodybuilders were ruled ineligible to compete because the Guyana Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (GABBFF) has not paid its International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness (IFBB) affiliation fees for the past 10 years and has an outstanding debt in excess of GY$1M.
This is according to president of the federation, Keavon Bess.
As a result of the GABBFF’s failure to pay the dues, the two musclemen, who posed and flexed their way to gold and silver medals at last year’s Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Championship, were deemed ineligible by the governing body to compete at the prestigious annual fixture.
Bess, who has been at the helm for the past four years, stated that when he contacted the relevant authority to register Clarke and Campbell, he was told that the federation would have to pay the debt incurred before the duo can compete.
Said Campbell: “It’s quite disappointing to hear about the federation’s misconduct. We were preparing right after CAC in October to compete at the Arnold, now to hear this after all the work we put in in the gym and money spent, it’s really disheartening and frustrating.”
He added “We should have been told from the beginning and I wish we could have registered on our own but I hope there is not a reoccurrence of a situation like this going forward.”
Bess said that he intends to seek a waiver during this year’s CAC Championship in Mexico.
“I intend to be present in Mexico this year to make a sound request for the sums to be waived as of 2016 and that we start fresh from 2017.All measures will be put in place to have that sum waived when we go to Mexico in September,” he declared.
The GABBFF head added: “Our position of negotiation would be that we have not benefited directly from the IFBB since our athletes have never done an IFBB show, so now that we intend to compete at the IFBB level we would like to start paying from this year.”
Some notable IFBB contests include the IFBB Men’s World Bodybuilding Championships, the IFBB Men’s World Classic Bodybuilding Championships, the IFBB World Fitness Championships, the Mr. Olympia, and the Arnold Classic.
Bess, an Attorney-at-Law, reiterated that: “Whoever is heading the federation after elections, should push for a clear waiver or a special concession.”
The GABBFF will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on February 18.
Bess will be seeking re-election at the meeting which is scheduled for a 10:00hrs start at GOA’s headquarters in Kingston.