SAM June 2012 coverThis month's cover features Michael Martinez, a Physique Canada Tier 1 Elite competitor who is signed on to compete in the organization's inaugural event: the Physique Canada National Classic. The event will be held on June 16, 2012, at the beautiful Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. Rob DeLuca, who was featured on last month's cover, is also signed on to compete. But the event is not just open to top-level competitors like Michael and Rob; it's also open to male and female novice competitors (Tier 3) competing for the first time, as well as experienced competitors (Tier 2) vying for Tier 1 Elite status (the top-three finishers in a Tier 2 event qualify for Tier 1 Elite status). Interactive Nutrition, which is based in Ottawa, Canada, is sponsoring the entire event, including the $1000 prize money for each Tier 1 Elite winner.

The Physique Canada National Classic event will consist of men's bodybuilding, women's muscular physique, and women's athletic physique. Men's bodybuilding is, of course, well established in physique competitions, as is women's muscular physique (it's called figure in other organizations, but Physique Canada felt it important to give it a more descriptive and appropriate name), but this is the first time ever that a women's athletic physique competition will be held. This is a brand-new discipline and we're very excited to see what the outcome will be. Frankly, we feel that women's athletic physique has the potential to become the most popular women's discipline in no time at all, given Physique Canada’s judging criteria and the kind of look that’s being encouraged – strong, fit, and healthy.

One more important thing to note about this competition, and others that Physique Canada will promote, is what goes on behind the scenes: drug testing. Unlike the many physique organizations that simply turn a blind eye to the rampant drug use in physique sports, or make half-hearted attempts to test competitors, Physique Canada is confronting the issue head-on by implementing the most stringent drug-testing protocol ever devised in the Canadian physique-competition scene. Before, during, and after the competition, a team of trained drug-testing personnel will be collecting urine samples from a large cross-section of competitors and immediately sending those samples off to the IOC-accredited lab in Montreal for analysis – considered by many to be the very best drug-testing lab in the world. In accordance with WADA-accepted standards, competitors who fail the tests will have their names published and their titles revoked. Of course, they will also be banned for a set period of time from future Physique Canada competitions. Physique Canada is making no bones about the fact that they want their competitive stage to be clean and fair. Competitors who use drugs should stay clear, but those clean athletes who want to compete on a level playing field are encouraged to compete.

On June 16, 2012, Canadian physique-competition history will be made – Physique Canada will put on their first ever men’s and women’s event, and the first ever champions will be crowned. will be there to cover it. Will you be there too? Game on!

. . . Doug Schneider Founder and Publisher