By now, you’ve probably heard the news…George Farah, a contest prep guru and Muscular Development author, was caught lying on a video posted by Optimum Nutrition. In short, George claimed that he was a rookie off-duty police officer who was shot attempting to foil a bank robbery. Well, it takes more than eating doughnuts to be a police officer…
A local Rochester newspaper got wind of the faux-cop, and ran an article outing him as a liar, and blasting Optimum Nutrition.
George being outed as a liar ‘stateside is already a few days old, but since my blog gets nearly half of it’s hits from outside the United States, I thought it might be fun to inform the rest of my readers about the situation. In all honesty, I don’t think it’ll matter to his “bodybuilding career” much…Dave Palumbo was caught selling fake/dirty growth hormone, and kept his job writing for Muscular Development right up until the day Blechman fired him for embezzeling (or whatever the story allegedly was).
And, for the record, I don’t really care what happens to Farah. People often misconstrue my apathy towards bodybuilding as meaning “I’m not THAT into it” or “I kind of like it” or even “I don’t mind it.” When the truth is that I have absolutely zero interest in bodybuilding whatsoever…I don’t mean “I’d watch it on TV if nothing else were on”, I mean, I’d watch nothing, if the choice were between bodybuilding or nothing. I’ve got zero interest in it, at all. Period. I didn’t even know who George Farah was until a few months ago, and Branch Warren (to me) is just a dude with a bad porn-mustache. I literally couldn’t care less about bodybuilding.
Here’s the article about Farrah, taken from DemocratandChronicle.com:
In an emotional Internet video made to market a nutrition company, local bodybuilder George Farah spoke of the pain and rehabilitation he went through after he was shot in Rochester while a rookie “with the police department” several years ago. He was off duty, he tells viewers, heroically responding to a bank robbery.
The problem is, it isn’t true.
Farah, a professional bodybuilder from Rochester ironically nicknamed “Bulletproof,” was shot on Ringle Street in Rochester in 1997 along with another person, but was never an officer or employee of the police department, the city officers’ union president said Thursday.
The circumstances of the shooting are cloudy, and no one was charged in the incident, said Locust Club President Mike Mazzeo.
He and members of his union are insulted and angered that Farah and Illinois-based Optimum Nutrition used the false story to market their products.
Optimum Nutrition has since removed the video from its website, apologized to the union and said it would take action against Farah.
“… I wanted, as George’s boss, to let you know how sorry we are to have posted his fabrication,” Bob Corbett, athlete manager for the company wrote Mazzeo in an e-mail. “I’m sorry of any pain it caused your police force and veterans.”
Farah was a longtime personal trainer at Rockell’s Family Fitness Center on West Ridge Road; an employee there said Farah now runs a fitness center in Webster.
“All I can say (is) that I have never mentioned that I was a Rochester police officer, period,” Farah said in response to an e-mail seeking comment.
At a news conference Thursday, Mazzeo — standing beside officers Anthony DiPonzio, Dan Brochu and Luca Martini, who were all shot in the line of duty — said: “We have three role models in this community and their story of how they have overcome adversity is a testament of inner strength — not deceit.”
DiPonzio, 24, of Greece was shot in the back of the head with a round fired from a .22-caliber rifle on Jan. 31, 2009, after he and other officers were leaving Dayton Street, where they had responded to a complaint of drug activity. Fellow officers rushed him to Rochester General Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.
On Dec. 1, Brochu and Martini responded to a 911 call about a hoe invasion at 265 Driving Park Ave. When Brochu and Martini arrived, they heard a woman screaming. She then ran out of the third-floor apartment and the two officers were met with gunfire.
Brochu, a six-year member of the police department, was struck once in the right lower leg. The bullet went through Brochu’s leg and broke some bones.
Martini, a three-year officer, was shot in the right arm, left hand and upper chest. The bullet that hit his chest lodged in his bulletproof vest and did not pierce through. The bullets that struck his arm and hand caused several broken bones.
None of the men has returned to duty.
”Real police officers, if you get injured in the line of duty, make every effort to come back to work and continue your career as a police officer,” Brochu said. “The three of us go to multiple doctors appointments every week, we are going to physical therapy on a regular basis, and we’re all striving to come back.”
“For a child to look at someone like him (Farah) and consider him a role model, I’m totally offended,” said Brochu, who coaches youth sports.
Monroe County First Assistant District Attorney Sandra Doorley said Farah likely would not face criminal charges.
“The only problem is at the beginning of the video, he doesn’t orientate to a particular date or location or the Rochester Police Department, so based upon what we have alone here, it wouldn’t be enough for criminal charges,” Doorley said.
However, she asked anyone who feels they might have otherwise been defrauded or victimized by Farah to call the District Attorney’s office at (585) 753-4780.