Controversy at the Inaugural Arnold Classic Brazil

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The inaugural Arnold Classic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was held this past weekend, and it was not without controversy. In fact, this may have been the biggest controversy in the history of professional bodybuilding. Interested to know, huh? Then keep reading on.

The Rise of "Big Mac"

Every couple of years, a new bodybuilder with incredible potential emerges. Among the most recent prospects to climb up the ranks is none other than Cedric "Big Mac" McMillan.

This impressive bodybuilder stands at 6'1 and weighs well over 250 pounds while competing on stage. What separates McMillan from the pack of up and coming bodybuilders, however, are his aesthetics. Few bodybuilders in the history of the sport have exhibited as impressive muscle bellies and superbly flowing physique as has McMillan.

During his short stint as a professional bodybuilder, McMillan has won two contests. The first came at the 2011 Europa Show of Champions Orlando and the second at the 2012 New York Pro. McMillan then debuted in his first ever Arnold Classic this past March. This contest is the original, and most prestigious, of the Arnold Classic contests. Unfortunately for McMillan, he did not come into the show in his best shape and he made a few mistakes during the prejudging. These mistakes came in the form of not putting on enough layers of tan and not putting enough posing oil, both of which are necessities for looking as best as possible under the bright stage lights.

While these may seem like careless mistakes, you need to understand that McMillan is still a relatively newcomer to the pro league, and will likely avoid these mistakes as he gains more experience. In fact, he did just that at his next contest, the FIBO Power Germany, held this past April. McMillan succeeded this time around, winning his second pro show.

A Costly Disqualification

And that leads us to the Arnold Classic Brazil. Well, inexperienced rang the doorbell again. McMillan was the odds-on favorite entering the contest and all he needed to do was show up in shape. Too bad this did not happen. McMillan missed the mandatory athletes meeting and was thereafter disqualified from the show. The reason for the missed meeting was due to the heavy traffic in Brazil. McMillan was well on his way to the meeting, but could not make it there on time. Once he did arrive, the meeting was over and he was informed of his disqualification.

At first glance, the disqualification is understandable, as the IFBB rules state that if a bodybuilder misses a meeting, then they will not allowed to compete in the contest. Thus, the disqualification should stand so a bodybuilder standard must be held for all bodybuilders. But there is a little caveat in the rules. You see, according to the IFBB rules, the contest promoter can decide whether or not the bodybuilder can compete or not.

Well, my understanding is one of the contest promoters, Jim Lorimer, indeed gave permission to McMillan to compete, although he was unable to contact McMillan directly due to communication difficulties in the area. Also, it seems as Lorimer did not contact the head judge of the contest, Lee Thompson, about allowing McMillan to compete. Thompson was the person who disqualified McMillan from the contest.

Thus, McMillan made the trip from his hometown of South Carolina all the way to Rio de Janeiro, only to be disqualified from the show. McMillan heard the word going around claiming that Lorimer wanted him to compete and he even attended the venue of the show with his posing suit and ready to compete. However, he was not able to speak to Lorimer directly.

This, to my knowledge, has never happened in the history of the IFBB. Obviously, McMillan should not have missed the meeting. But the fact that he did eventually arrive to the meeting location, unfortunately late due to heavy traffic in a foreign country, confirms that he was not trying to skip the meeting. Also, it seems odd that the head judge and contest promoters did not meet directly with McMillan prior to the show to discuss his situation.

Share Your Thoughts

So what do you think? Should have McMillan been allowed to compete? Is it acceptable for a league as large as the IFBB to make such as mistake and not discuss the situation with him in a direct manner? Or should the fact that McMillan, despite being stuck in traffic in a foreign country, was late to the meeting end all this controversy? Chime in with your thoughts and let me know what you think.
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