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The Item: IFBB Pro League Contest Competitors List, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Announced: Promoters of the Arnold Classic published the list of IFBB Pro League athletes competing at the 2014 IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Europe Bodybuilding Championships in Madrid, Spain (September 26-28).

Open Class Competitors:
IFBB Pro William Bonac (Holland)
IFBB Pro Jon Delarosa (USA)
IFBB Pro Mamdouh Elssbiay (Kuwait)
IFBB Pro K. Greene (USA)
IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson (USA)
IFBB Pro Michael Kefalianos (Greece)
IFBB Pro Victor Martinez (Dominican Republic)
IFBB Pro Juan Morel  (USA)
IFBB Pro Robert Piotrkowicz (Poland)
IFBB Pro Shawn Rhoden (USA)
IFBB Pro Fred Smalls (USA)
IFBB Pro Roelly Winklaar (Curacao)
IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf (Germany)

The "So What?": The list shrank from 20 contestants in 2013 to 13 contestants in 2014. While 2008 Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson did not compete in Madrid last year, most of the others are returning contenders, and the only true new faces (or physiques) to the lineup are William Bonac, Jonathon Delarosa, and Mamdouh Elssbiay (a.k.a. "Big Ramy"). As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," previous Arnold Classic Europe winners include Victor Martinez (2011), Shawn Rhoden (2012) and IFBB Pro Phil Heath (2013), who just won his fourth Mr. Olympia title and Sandow trophy at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas.

The Arnold Fitness Expo at the Pabellon de Cristal, Casa de Campo-Madrid Arena features the following competitions and/or exhibitions: Arnold Strongman contest, Arnold Amateur bodybuilding, Classic bodybuilding, Masters bodybuilding, bodyfitness (figure), pro fitness, powerlifting, armwrestling, athletic fitness, BMX, CrossFit, capoeira, gymnastics, kickboxing, MMA, aikido, jiu jitsu, muay thai, kempo, karate, taekwondo, Olympic combat training, lucha libre (wrestling), tennis, spinning, cheerleading, fencing, boxing, parkour and more. The team Strongman Challenge from last year has been replaced with a Winner-Takes-All individual strength contest this year, and it will feature strength athletes Zydrunas Savickas (4-time WSM World's Strongest Man), Brian Shaw (2-time WSM World's Strongest Man) and Krzysztof Radzikowski (Strongman Champions League World Champ).

Andrew Oye's Verdict: Reigning Mr. Olympia Phil Heath will not return to defend the title he won last year, following the demanding promotional and physical effort that led to last weekend's victory at the 50th Anniversary of the Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding Championships, which will be televised on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) in October. Frontrunners in the Madrid contest (the first IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series contest for the 2015 season) include previous Arnold Classic franchise winners: Rhoden, who, if he showed up even slightly sharper than he did at the Olympia, could reclaim the title, Jackson (4-time USA), Greene (2-time USA), Wolf (USA) and Martinez (Europe and USA).

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