Are Bodybuilding Contests Fixed?
Franco Columbu won the 1981 Mr. Olympia despite having an obvious gynocomastia lump in his right pectoral, his left thigh was smaller then his right (due to an earlier injury) and both thighs were smooth, showing little definition. Many feel this was one of the worst examples of a fixed bodybuilding contest of all time.
If you stopped any normal person on the street and showed them pics of the top 5 Mr. Olympia winners they would not be able to guess which bodybuilder won.
To become a professional bodybuilder like we see on magazine covers requires balance, muscle depth, definition and size, shape, symmetry, structure, vascularity, striations, muscle bellie roundness, etc.
The criteria for winning a bodybuilding competition is not a measurable thing, your lean body mass that you carry relative to your height says nothing about the genetic balance and proportion of your body. The judges make a decision on more than what they see.
That does not mean that promoters, magazine publishers or manufacturer's who sell bodybuilding products don't sponsor shows to ensure a specific outcome for some financial gain, at the top professional level it's all about the money.
Despite the fact that many times a sore loser competitor will claim he was robbed, here are many examples of bodybuilding contests that most people would agree seemed to be fixed.
Some of the best, or worst example of these "fixed contests" are:
The 1972 Mr. Olympia: Sergio Oliva was in the best shape of his life that day, he was huge and for once he was ripped, he matched all of Arnold's measurements, yet had bigger thighs and a smaller waist. Even Arnold admitted years later that if he was a judge that year he would have made Sergio the winner. Arnold won that day, and there was a lot of booing and yelling "fixed" in the audience over that controversial decision.
The 1980 Mr. Olympia: Arnold who had been retired for 5 years, entered the contest at the last minute, along with a film crew filming the movie "Arnold's Comeback" that would later be called "Total Rebuild". It has been said that many of the judges that day were investors in the film and Arnold losing would not have been good for business. So despite Arnold coming is smaller and smoother then he ever had before in a Mr. Olympia contest and that his legs were too small to match his upper body; and the fact that there were many competitors who were in the best shape of their lives, Arnold won his seventh Mr. Olympia title. Again there was a lot of booing and catcalls in the audience that day.
The 1981 Mr. Olympia: Many competitors actually boycotted and didn't compete in 1981 because of what happened last year and the rumor that Franco was planning the same trick this year. They felt very justified in doing so after Franco won even though he had so many obvious flaws in his physique. This event is said to be the biggest booing contest of all time.