October 31, 2010

Bodybuilding Politics: SFBF vs SBBF (updated 4th Nov)


A recent clip from Singaporean newspaper, The Straits Times (click on image to enlarge). Did Letchmenon said that Singaporean bodybuilders are confused? Well then, let me clear the confusion!

Some of you might have heard of the current political situation in the Singaporean bodybuilding scene (yes, there's politics there too). For those who don't, here's a lil update.

To clear up the confusion, remember this!

SFBF = Singapore Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness = Affiliated to IFBB (International Federation of Body Building & Fitness) = Headed by Terry Robacker

SBBF = Singapore Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation = Affiliated to WBPF (World Bodybuilding & Physique Sports Federation) = Headed by M. Letchmenon

Since I-can't-remember-when, the SBBF (Singapore Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation) is the official national bodybuilding federation affiliated to the Singapore Sports Council (SSC). However, there's a VERY important change in the SBBF that happened about a year ago and SSC did not react to it. You see, back about a year ago, SBBF was under the IFBB. However, former president of SBBF and IFBB official, Paul Chua, was suspended by the IFBB on the grounds that he was involved in accepting a bribe by athletes to shorten their ban period. The letter below is Paul Chua's letter of suspension and the latest update on the corruption case Paul Chua was alleged to be involved in (click on image to enlarge).

Paul Chua then created his own so-called world bodybuilding federation and named it WBPF. Now, the SBBF and most national bodybuilding federations are under this bodybuilding federation which has no pro status and barely any future for athletes. Click here to read about one of WBPF's poorly-organized so-called "world event" which had only about 100 people in the audience!! WTF!!

So now, Singaporean bodybuilders and most Asian bodybuilders are trapped under WBPF!! And when I say trapped, I really mean TRAPPED!! Many of my bodybuilding brothers have told me that they are sick of SBBF. Why? Because they fucking think that they are gods! They push the bodybuilders around, expect full obedience with no rewards and will ban anyone who is not on their side. Oh, just a disclaimer, this doesn't apply to every SBBF official. I do know a few of them who are very very nice people. But some are just... ugh.

I can attest to this statement myself. A few months before the WBPF Multi-Asian Championships 2010, a certain SBBF official asked me to cover the event. For the sake of reference, let's call him S.

Well, S was certainlyyyyy a gentleman. Firstly, when S asked me to cover the event, I asked if I could receive a fair remuneration for my efforts. S said SBBF can't give me any and I should be doing it for free. I was shocked! Free work for them?! Ok, fine, I'll find other ways to remunerate my efforts.

So I asked if I could get free tickets from them so I can take photos of the event and perhaps bring a friend along. And guess what S said. He didn't just say that SBBF can't give me free tickets but I must also get them myself - and good seats cost S$75 EACH!! How can they expect me to buy them?! I'm just a student! So I told him that I most probably won't cover the event and perhaps I'll just post up some photos on my blog.


S continued to mention that I can't post up photos on my blog because they reserve the rights to the photos of the event and that if I cover the event, I must cover it on WBPF's website, with NO LINK BACK TO FABODYLOUS!!

So this SBBF official expects me to PAY to WORK for them with NO REMUNERATION OR CREDIT? I immediately refused the offer (if you even call that an offer)!

And what does he do next? HE SCOLDED ME, suggestively calling me money-minded and that I'm not dedicated to the sport because I refused to cover the event. He even mentioned that I'm arrogant to "refuse to be a part of such big event"!

Big? Is an audience of one hundred big?

P.S. Dear S, if you're reading this, just to inform you, I have the saved MSN conversation to back up everything I've just mentioned. :)

Oh, just in case you guys are wondering, eventually, my ticket to the Multi Asians were generously sponsored by Magnum Nutraceuticals, with NO strings attached. Click here to visit their website.

Now back to the topic after my release of well-kept steam, this is just MY testimony of SBBF's tyranny. Feel free to express yours in the comments section.

Now, on the other hand, I've known Terry Robacker, president of SFBF, few months back and I'm just blown away, to say the least, by his far-looking vision and humble dedication to bodybuilding.

Unlike certain people from SBBF, Terry aims to bring more opportunities to local bodybuilders to compete at a higher level, and even giving them a chance to become IFBB pro bodybuilders! And he's willing to sacrifice his own time and money to do so. Remember awhile ago when SFBF brought Ronnie Coleman down to Singapore as a treat to local fans? Click here if you don't. Terry actually forked out money from his own pocket for the sake of local bodybuilders. And I can't believe a few cheapos actually complain about the $25 they have to pay to attend the seminar! Here's an example of an economy flight from USA to Singapore and back.

A maximum of 100 people attended the limited space seminar, which means Terry was reimbursed only $2500, max. And don't forget that this is only the flight fare!

Some of you local bodybuilders might have already received a few circular letters from SFBF. In it, you might remember a sentence that implies that SFBF will not use banning to get what they want from athletes. That's because Terry believes that bodybuilders should be supporting a federation because they want to, and not because they are forced to.

From Left to Right: Bob Lorimer, Arnold sports Festival Co-producer; one of the Mexican Federation officials; Terry Robacker, President of SFBF; Katya, Terry's wife; Rafael Santonja, IFBB president; and Senior Francisco Cabezas, President of the Mexican bodybuilding federation.

For your information, the winners at the 2010 Mr Singapore bodybuilding contest did not receive any cash prize whatsoever. However, recently at Muscle Explosion 3, Paul Chua mentioned that future Mr Singapore winners will receive cash prizes. Oh my oh my, I wonder why the sudden generosity by SBBF. Perhaps because they are afraid that local bodybuilders will support another federation?

So my message to you guys, especially local bodybuilders, is to not join SBBF contests. Really, don't. Everytime you do, you're supporting them AND giving them a chance to dictate over you. So what if they offer you cash prize? Once they are the monopoly again, goodbye cash prize! SFBF will soon hold contests. JOIN THOSE CONTESTS. And bodybuilding fans, don't attend SBBF events. Don't worry, if you want to know any results of the events, you can read about them right here on Fabodylous.

Remember, YOUR support makes a HUGE difference! The Singapore Sports Council could possibly make SFBF the official Singapore bodybuilding federation. Why not? If everyone's unhappy with SBBF's performance and since SBBF is affiliated to a bogus international federation, why not? But SFBF needs your support! And in return, they'll reward you with more opportunities to compete at higher levels. And most importantly, they won't treat you like shit like some people have.


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P.s. Ronnie Coleman took a first class flight to Singapore and back. I doubt that he'll fit in economy seats. :)


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