Dear Editor: I have read elsewhere that the NABBA Mr. Universe Contest held in London is both amateur and professional, and yet I have also read in Muscle Builder that the F.I.H.C. (International Weightlifting Fderation) held an amateur Mr. Universe contest in London at the same time. How can there be two amaeur Mr. Universe contests at one time? Can you straighten me out?
The NABBA event is not sanctioned either by the amateur association in England or by the Internation Weightlifting Federation. It is a contest conducted by Health and Strength magazine without the backing of any amateur organization whatever. Because of this it cannot be considered an amateur event - but professional. Vern Weaver, by entering this contest, was banned from amateur ranks throughout the world, including competition within the A.A.U. in the United States. Any amateur entering that NABBA event will be declared a professional by the A.A.U. In fact, the Malaysian competitor for the F.I.H.C., sent by the amateur Malaysian association, was picked up by NABBA men at the airport and entered into their compeitition, and because he did so, he was banned. To protect your rights as an amateur athlete, don't enter the NABBA contests, but only those sanctioned by the International Weightlifting Federation (F.I.H.C)
The following is a verbatim reprint of a letter written on international Weightlifting Federation letterhead by Oscar State. Copies were sent to Capt. S. Archer, R. Sablo, C. H. Johnson, IRON MAN, MUSCLE BUILDER, MUSCLE POWER and Members FIHC Physical Culture Committee.
Mr Bob Hoffman
P.O. Box ----
York, Penn, USA
On behalf of the FIHC I must register a protest against the article "The Pageant of Mr. Universe Winners" published in the June 1965 edition of your magazine "Muscular Development." This article creates the impression that the NABBA "Mr. Universe" contest is officially recognised. You know very well from the warnings that I have repeatedly published in my FIHC bulletins and in the AAU official journal "Amateur Athlete," that the NABBA contests are not recognised either by the AAU or by the FIHC. You are also aware of the fact that John Terpak was reprimanded by the AAU for attending the NABBA "Mr. Universe" contest as an official.
Our member federations are not allowed to compete in unsanctioned contests such as the NABBA "Mr. Universe" and the IFBB "Mr. Universe." After I had written to Mr. Weider, he publicly proclaimed that the IFBB contests were not amateur and those who competed in them risked being suspended and losing their amateur status. This unequivocal statement made the IFBB situation quite clear to intending competitors and the FIHC does not have to concern itself with their professional contests.
But the NABBA organisers continue to organise a so-called "amateur" contest those winners you have portrayed in the article to which I object. Yet every competitor in the NABBA contests who belongs to any of our federations has been suspended. You make no mention of the fact that every American bodybuilder who has competed in the NABBA contest has been suspended by the AAU. I think that in fairness to your American bodybuilders and to the FIHC you should make these facts known.
Your continued support of this contest is an embarrassment to the FIHC because you are a member of our Physical Culture Committee. As such you should support only the official contests which are conducted under our control. Thus, instead of publishing the NABBA winners, I think you ought to publicize our winners such as the great American Tommy Kono who won the FIHC "Mr. Universe" title four times. Here for the record is the list of winners of our official contests which are still conducted under the sub-title of "Mr. Universe."
Oscar State (signed),
General Secretary FIHC