Once upon a time, the Arnold Fitness Expo was a place where the entire subculture of bodybuilding was on full and uninhibited display. Giant inflatable syringes were floating in the expo halls, steroid books such as Anabolics, Underground Steroid Handbook and World Anabolic Review were sold by various exhibitors, and supplement companies sold products with steroid-sounding names, products that were compared to steroids and, in some cases, products that may have even contained illegal synthetic steroids.
It seems the time has finally come for the promoters of the Arnold Sports Festival to ban steroids from the expo. Organizers have decided to ban books about anabolic steroids as well as literature, such as supplement marketing and promotional materials, that makes reference to anabolic steroids.
Patrick Arnold, the organic chemist responsible for the designer steroids at the heart of the BALCO steroid scandal, is taking his new supplement company, E-Pharm, to the Arnold Fitness Expo. As one of the vendors renting booth space at the Arnold Expo, he received the following “special notice“:
“The Arnold Sports Festival does not allow literature or products that make reference to steroids or enhancement ability that is related to any illegal substance.”
In addition, booth exhibitors are forbidden to sell or promote products that reference “enhancement of sexual pleasure” and/or “aphrodisiacs”; fitness girls (and guys) wearing “inappropriate attire” will be escorted from the premises.
Patrick Arnold suggests that the new restrictions are aimed at making the Arnold Expo a more “family friendly” event. However, it seems that many of these provisions will be difficult to enforce.
The ban on steroid literature may be more of an effort by promoters to disassociate themselves from any questionable products sold by vendors and any objectionable and/or explicit displays that occur at any of the booths. The organizers have warned bodybuilders competing in the Arnold Classic of reporters asking questions about steroids in previous years. It is politically expedient for promoters to remove, or at least downplay, the spectre of steroids from the Arnold Fitness Expo and the Arnold Classic
It remains to be seen if the organizers really crack down on companies that sell steroid-like products or make references to steroids in their promotional materials (or hire scantily-clad models to work their booths).
The days when EAS sold supplements, endorsed by Bill Phillips, that “feel like Deca” are clearly gone but does this mean that EAS will not be able to have Dick Butkus make reference to steroids when he tells people that they can achieve similar results without steroids by “training hard, eating well and playing with attitude”?