Bodybuilding for Tokyo Olympics

HARARE - Bodybuilding is now a recognised Olympic sport and is set for its maiden appearance at the next Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan in 2020.

The sport will be participated through the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) and will be called the Games Classic Bodybuilding which will be the main category at the various Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Zimbabwe is an affiliate of IFBB and hence stands to benefit from this positive development.

National Federation of Zimbabwe Bodybuilding and Fitness secretary-general Quite Shangai described the Olympic status for the sport as a step in the right direction.

“Bodybuilding being an Olympic sport through IFBB is good for us because already we are affiliated to IFBB,” Shangai told the Daily News yesterday.

“Furthermore that creates opportunities for our athletes because they now have opportunities to be Olympians.

“As a system we are firmly part of IOC and ZOC hence we can directly benefit from their developmental programmes which we can admit are very helpful — it is a positive move for the fitness industry.”

Many had argued that bodybuilding would never be an Olympic sport because of the rampant use of drugs and supplements.

Jim Evans is the sole inductee into the 2009 United States of America Natural (Drug- Free) Bodybuilding Hall of Fame.

He founded the North American Natural Bodybuilding Association in 1984 to provide a platform for athletes to compete in the sport of bodybuilding without the use of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

"...However, the principal reason why bodybuilding will never be in the Olympics is because of the stigma of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Bodybuilding is one of only two sports (powerlifting is the other) in the world that openly functions as two separate divisions — natural (drug-free) and ‘otherwise’,” Evans recently wrote on his blog.

“Strangely, many natural bodybuilders condone this separation under the misguided justification of ‘choice’ rather than accepting it for the illegal and unethical toxin that it is — a toxin that continues to define bodybuilding and destroy any chance of its legitimacy on the Olympic stage.”

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