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

The Scoop: Recently Announced: Producers of the Chicago FIBO show announced that the event has been canceled, which removes the adjunct bodybuilding competition from the IFBB Pro League contest schedule.

The official announcement reads, "Reed Exhibitions will no longer produce the FIBO POWER USA and EUROPA event (also known as Chicago Fitness & Sport Expo), scheduled at Rosemont Convention Center in Rosemont, IL on September 30 - October 1, 2011. A decision was made by Reed to focus efforts and resources on other opportunities for growth in the pop culture space. We would like to thank our partners on this event, our customers, vendors, and industry supporters for the opportunity to explore a new concept."

The "So What?": While having separate contest promoters, the Chicago event would have been the inaugural US companion to the long-standing German event, the biggest sports and nutrition expo in Europe. As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," the IFBB FIBO Power Pro Bodybuilding Championships in Essen, Germany, on April 16, 2011, was won by IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson (2008 Mr. Olympia and 3-time winner of the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships) in a physique battle with Germany's own IFBB Pro Ronny Rockel.

Regarding the cancellation of the Chicago event, IFBB Athletes' Rep IFBB Pro Bob Cicherillo says, "There were a lot of issues from the venue choice, to the timeframe, the union costs. Look for a new show to take its place very soon, date and location TBA [to be announced]."

Andrew Oye's Verdict: The newly launched Sheru Classic Asian Grand Prix Pro Bodybuilding Championships, slated for September 24-25 in Mumbai, has already announced big names as competitors, including Jackson, IFBB Pro Phil Heath, IFBB Pro Branch Warren, IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf, and 4-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Jay Cutler. Typically, post-Olympia contests in the US do not draw top-tier pros. Perhaps that, along with other more relevant issues, contributed in some small or indirect way to the dreary prospects for a large Chicago expo and contest so close on the IFBB event calendar. It's unfortunate because the Illinois event would have provided another opportunity for Olympia qualification to compete at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend in 2012, especially for locals like IFBB Pro Michael Liberatore -- who recently made his pro debut at the Orlando Pro Bodybuilding Championships with a 4th place finish against winner IFBB Pro Cedric McMillan. 

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