Mathieu Roy is featured on our cover this month, as well as in the photos above and below – he was the first runner-up in Tier 1 Pro men’s bodybuilding at the 2014 Physique Canada Canadian Championships, held last October. As of today, Mathieu is two weeks and three days away from stepping onto the Physique Canada stage at the 2015 Canadian Championships (October 17), more than likely with the goal of taking the first-place spot this time.

Mathieu Roy receiving medalMathieu Roy receiving the silver medal at the 2014 Canadian Championships from Denis Pedneault, 2013 Canadian Champion; Tony Muto (right) received bronze

The thing is, Mathieu is not alone in his quest. Alongside him on the stage will be competitors such as Alexandre Villeneuve, Frédérik Therrien, Tony Muto, Jorge Martinez, and others. They are all probably gunning for the top spot, too. And there will likely be others who will come who have not indicated their participation yet – and they will want to challenge them all. Mark my words: This year’s lineup will be the most competitive group of Tier 1 Pro men’s bodybuilders to ever grace the Physique Canada stage.

Yet that’s only one men’s bodybuilding category. There are also Tier 2 (open), Tier 3 (novice), and masters (over age 40) men’s bodybuilding categories at the Canadian Championships, as well as the disciplines of men’s athletic physique and sport physique, which are similar to bodybuilding in some ways, but have different judging criteria and posing-suit requirements. If it were just a men’s show, it would be a great one.

But then there are also the two women’s disciplines, athletic physique and muscular physique, which I described in an article last month. These are also divided up into Tier 1, 2, 3, and masters. The women’s disciplines will be just as interesting as the men’s, since a number of topnotch female competitors have already thrown their hats in the ring: Jess Kanstrup, Julie-Christine Cotton, Natalie Nadon, Janick Charbonneau, to name a few. Undoubtedly, many more will want to challenge them in their respective disciplines and categories.

What’s also vital to mention about this event is that every male and female competitor is subject to strict drug testing. What’s more, the competitors are subjected to drug testing before and after the competition as well. In fact, about two weeks ago, at a Physique Canada seminar in Montreal, Physique Canada doping-control officer Martin Tessier showed up to test some male and female competitors there. Two weeks before that, a Tier 1 Pro female competitor in Ottawa was required to submit to an out-of-competition test. Likely more tests will be done by the time the 2015 Canadian Championships roll around.

Julie-Christine CottonPhysique Canada competitor Julie-Christine Cotton during an out-of-competition drug test in Montreal

What is important about all that testing is this: Physique Canada has a world-class drug-testing program in place. As a result, it is one of the most effective testing programs ever implemented in physique- and fitness-type sports. How is that possible? From the get-go, everyone involved in the organization had the same goal, which was to present a competitive environment that is drug-free and fair to all. The group also pledged to do everything in their power to keep it that way. As a result, the organization has been relentless with their drug-testing program, setting a standard that’s high above any other organization anywhere.

The results of Physique Canada’s diligence in drug testing will be reflected at this year’s Canadian Championships. The winners who arise out of the various categories can hold their heads high and be proud, because they will be 2015’s true Canadian champions. They will be the ones who people look up to, admire, and try to emulate, because their accomplishments were attained naturally! Find out who those people are in our coverage of and commentary on the 2015 Physique Canada Canadian Championships in this space next month.

Doug Schneider Founder and Publisher