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Publisher’s Letter: Publicity and Stupidity

I received e-mail last week from someone who lauded us for our story on Dave Goodin [“Texas Shredder,” September ’06]. Dave is a lifetime natural competitor with a terrific physique and an old friend of IM Editor in Chief Steve Holman’s. The reader wanted to know why we don’t feature more natural competitors. The reality is, we do more than any other major bodybuilding publication to give recognition to drug-free bodybuilders. IRON MAN magazine—in conjunction with our contest site,—has more coverage of the NPC Team Universe Championships (a drug-tested event) than all of the other magazines combined. Philosophically, IRON MAN has supported drug-free bodybuilding in its pages for its entire 70-year life.

Getting back to that e-mail, here’s how I answered the writer: “As unbelievable as it sounds, Dave Goodin risked a suspension from the WNBF to appear in IRON MAN, and any other member of the WNBF is held hostage the same way.” When Dave told me that, I was both amazed and dismayed. Isn’t competitive drug-free bodybuilding small enough? Do these people have to further diminish it by not allowing natural athletes to get as much publicity as possible?

By giving Goodin publicity, we also gave publicity to the WNBF (we even included the organization’s Web site in the article for other interested athletes). Don’t they get it? I guess not. Dave e-mailed me today telling me he’d gotten a registered letter from the WNBF informing him that he’d received a three-year suspension. It should have been a thank-you note for shining a little light on them. (Note: The National Gym Association doesn’t penalize its drug-free athletes in that fashion; visit for more information.)

Before buying IRON MAN in 1986, I’d been a competitor, an official and a promoter in the AAU in the ’60s and early ’70s. As the AAU eventually morphed into the NPC, which then became affiliated with the IFBB, I became a promoter of those events. My heart is with the athletes—I’m one of them, and I’m for open bodybuilding. Why restrict the athletes’ opportunities? How does that benefit them or competitive bodybuilding in general?

During my 20-year stewardship of IRON MAN, you, the athlete, have always been the magazine’s focus. We Know Training™ is what we’re about. Bodybuilding is a singular effort to change yourself physically—to become stronger, bigger, faster—and IRON MAN is your partner in that quest. Peary and Mabel Rader founded IRON MAN in 1936 to help people realize their dreams of building a fine physique. They believed, as I do, that bodybuilding is a great activity for every body. I hope that belief eventually takes hold in all bodybuilding organizations.

Please send comments via e-mail to me at [email protected]. IM

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