HomeSri Lanka CricketWhat Is the Pure Olympia? Breaking Down Pure Bodybuilding's Present of Reveals

What Is the Pure Olympia? Breaking Down Pure Bodybuilding’s Present of Reveals

In essentially the most simple phrases, the Pure Olympia is a drug-tested bodybuilding contest held yearly by the Worldwide Pure Bodybuilding Affiliation and Skilled Pure Bodybuilding Affiliation, extra generally known as the INBA/PNBA.

Supposed as a venue for elite bodybuilders who grasp their craft underneath strict assessments for steroids and different performance-enhancing medication, the Pure Olympia is tied to a bigger mission of the INBA/PNBA: to advertise a model of the game that might in the future be acknowledged by the Olympic Video games. Right here’s how the present got here to be:

Humble Roots, Noble Aspirations

In keeping with the league’s web site, the INBA/PNBA has roots in a publicity occasion. In 1977, architect-turned-entrepreneur Denny Kakos opened Mt. Olympus Well being Spa in California and sought to draw membership by holding a neighborhood bodybuilding competitors proper there in his health club.

[Related: 9 Underrated Golden Era Bodybuilders You Should Know About]

It made loads of sense to capitalize on the bodybuilding fever gripping popular culture on the time. This was the identical yr {that a} younger Arnold Schwarzenegger lit up screens within the seminal documentary in regards to the sport, Pumping Iron. For Kakos, associating a membership with bodybuilders might doubtless generate buzz for the brand new health club.

The technique paid off, as Kakos continued holding extra contests because the years went on. He quickly turned to the Nationwide Physique Committee (NPC) within the early Eighties to advertise the California Pure Bodybuilding Championships, which attracted 135 rivals, all of whom the group stated have been “drug-free.” 

The Creation of the Pure Olympia

Discovering a market in pure bodybuilding exhibits, Kakos and some companions created their very own aggressive league in 1988 referred to as the American Bodybuilding Affiliation (ABA). That quickly led to the creation of knowledgeable league referred to as the Skilled Pure Bodybuilding Affiliation (PNBA) in 1990, which served as the professional league that elite ABA rivals certified for.

The PNBA quickly replicated the worldwide side of the a lot bigger (and longer-established) IFBB Skilled League. Inside just a few years, the PNBA had its personal worldwide occasions, including the INBA to the PNBA acronym.

By 1998, the league had sufficient momentum to carry their first Pure Olympia in Corinth, Greece, as a seeming nod to their said objective to ultimately promote bodybuilding as an Olympic sport. Bodybuilder John Hansen received the inaugural present.

[Related: 12 of the Biggest Men’s Bodybuilders of All Time]

Kind of the Similar, Kind of Totally different

Whereas the Pure Olympia affords a spot for the standard bodybuilding divisions discovered in the course of the IFBB’s Olympia weekend — together with Males’s Open, Traditional Physique, and Bikini — there are quirkier beginner classes like a Males’s Ink/Tattoo class and “formal put on” divisions the place the lads come decked out in fits and ladies strut on stage in a night robe.

The largest distinction, nonetheless, stays the drug testing protocol in place for the PNBA/INBA. The leagues — and, by extension, the Pure Olympia contest — comply with the testing protocols put forth by the World Anti-Doping Company (WADA). This company assessments for the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC), and its checklist of prohibited medication ranges from dozens of anabolic androgenic steroids to diuretics and masking brokers. (1)

The drug testing protocol for IFBB Professional League exhibits — just like the Olympia — isn’t available by means of the league’s web site. In 1990, there was obligatory drug testing on the Mr. Olympia present that made headlines, however since then, protocols have been much less clear.

In 2017, The New York Occasions reported {that a} spokesperson for the Olympia advised the outlet that drug testing is random however isn’t carried out in the course of the contest itself. Over time, IFBB Professional League bodybuilders like six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates and eight-time Mr. O Ronnie Coleman have overtly admitted to taking performance-enhancing medication throughout their careers. And in September 2022, present IFBB Professional competitor Hunter Labrada acknowledged the position steroids play in bodybuilding on his YouTube channel.

[Related: How Strong Was Arnold Schwarzenegger? We Look Back at the Oak’s Short-Lived Powerlifting Career]

In keeping with the PNBA/INBA, their rivals get “blood or urine” assessments on-site at exhibits and random assessments outdoors of competitions. Athletes additionally pay a portion of those check prices with every contest entry charge.

Penalties for a failed check vary from a yearlong suspension to a lifetime ban from competitors, relying on the outcomes of the assessments. These athletes then have the ignominious honor of showing on the INBA/PNBA Wall of Disgrace, which spotlights dozens of rivals who, in response to the group, failed a number of drug assessments. Whether or not this can be a righteous or juvenile transfer is as much as the person, nevertheless it feeds into the league’s strict views on drug use.

The league’s guidelines make it clear, nonetheless, that athletes can enchantment suspensions inside 10 days of a failed check by offering (on the athlete’s expense) a second check to substantiate or refute the findings. False optimistic assessments — the place an athlete who was not doping has a check that comes again optimistic for causes aside from PED use — do occur sometimes with any drug assessments. (2) Although some proof suggests blood testing stays essentially the most correct, no technique is ideal. (3)

The Pure Olympia In the present day

The Pure Olympia has taken place practically yearly since 1998. In latest occasions, it usually runs in Las Vegas each November, across the similar time because the IFBB’s Olympia.

In 2021, the entire prize pool was $65,000, with one division winner additionally receiving a Harley Davidson bike. That’s in comparison with the $1.5 million whole prize pool on the IFBB’s Olympia in 2022.

[Related: These 10 Bodybuilders Had the Most Impressive Olympia Debuts in History]

Right here’s a full rundown of the previous winners of the Pure Olympia within the Males’s Open Bodybuilding division: 

  • John Hansen (1998)
  • Keith Bullock (2001)
  • Ron Williams (2002)
  • Rodney Hawthorne (2003)
  • Danny Chau (2004)
  • Komang Arnawa (2005)
  • Warren Clampit (2006)
  • Philip Ricardo Jr. (2007, 2008, 2015, 2019)
  • Kiyoshi Moody (2009-2014)
  • Michael Waddington (2016)
  • Rob Terry (2017, 2018)
  • Meshack Ochieng (2020)
  • Paul Krueger (2021)
  • Tommi Thompson (2022)

An Olympia Different

The truth that the Pure Olympia continues after over a few a long time speaks to the continued curiosity in an elite, drug-tested area for bodybuilders. It’s onerous to say whether or not or not the Pure Olympia will ever ultimately garner the eye from the IOC that it claims to covet. Regardless, the INBA/PNBA group has carved out a distinct segment for itself that manages to behave as a real different for athletes and followers. 

Extra Bodybuilding Tales

For extra on bodybuilding, take a look at these tales from BarBend:


  1. World Anti-Doping Code Worldwide Normal Prohibited Listing
  2. Aaron Hermann, and Maciej Henneberg. Anti-doping methods in sports activities are doomed to fail: a chance and price evaluation. Journal of Sports activities Drugs & Doping Research, 2014; 4(5):1000148-1-1000148-12
  3. Faiss R, Saugy J, Saugy M. Preventing Doping in Elite Sports activities: Blood for All Exams! Entrance Sports activities Act Dwelling. 2019 Sep 20;1:30. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2019.00030. PMID: 33344954; PMCID: PMC7739585.

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