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The fix is in. Anthony Roberts is reporting on the story of father Jim Manion, and son J.M. Manion, and their curious relationship with the sport of bodybuilding.
Father Jim Manion is an IFBB and NPC chairperson and head judge. Bottom line: he oversees who wins, and how athletes place in competitions. Son J.M. Manion runs JM Management – a fitness and figure group that assists female competitors.
So let’s do the math…
A female athlete pays son J.M. Manion to “manage” her career. Female athlete enters contest, and is judged by father Jim Manion. Son J.M. Manion takes a cut of female athlete’s winnings.
Do you see any incentive here for daddy to help son? I knew you would. It is here that the story becomes curious. Anthony Roberts reports,
One girl who signed with J.M. Manion, Kristin Nunn, went from just earning her procard (in the NPC) to placing in the top 5 in her very first pro show (in the much harder IFBB).
Another athlete who signed with him immediately went from 7th in the Fitness International to placing within the top 5 for the remainder of her shows that year (2004) – including the Fitness Olympia. Pretty amazing that someone who couldn’t crack the top 5 (AT ALL), would sign with the son of the IFBB head judge, and then finish in the top 5 for the remainder of the year, including much harder contests.
But of course, the most glaring example of J.M.’s stellar ability to “manage” female athletes (when his father directly decides whether or not they win contests) has been seen in the Fitness Olympia. Susie Curry (JM Management athlete) held the first place title for four years while Kelly Ryan was in second place for three of those years. Then, when Susie retired, Adela Freidmansky (another JM Management athlete) took first (inexplicably bypassing Ryan), while Kim Klein (who had just signed with JM) moved up into 4th place, from 11th the previous year. Of course, all of this happened immediately after JM signed them, and always in contests his father had influence over, or directly controlled the outcome of. This same year, arguably the best figure competitor ever to step on stage, Monica Brant, took second in the figure Olympia to…yes, you guessed it, a JM signed athlete, Davana Medina.
Roberts also noted that the top 5 placings in the 2008 Figure Olympia were “managed” by J.M. Manion.
It’s time for the Manions to address this issue. I encourage everyone reading this story to take action by either blogging/Twittering/forum posting this story, or by emailing the NPC/IFBB.
It is a conflict of interest for a son to make money off contests that his father judges. Bodybuilding can’t be taken seriously when this sort of family involvement is allowed to go on.