Following a short-lived suspension of the organization’s top executive, the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) is gradually getting back on its feet and now preparing for its election of officers in the next month or two.
Joel Stubbs, one of the top bodybuilders to ever come of this region, has been reinstated as the president of the BBFF and has stated his intention to run for another four-year term in office when the elections roll around. Nomination day is set for next Tuesday at a venue and time to be announced, and the elections will follow.
According to Stubbs, the suspension should have not happened in the first place, but he did what he had to do in following the correct protocol, and now is looking forward to continuing to work on behalf of the athletes, aiding in their development and progression locally and abroad. The International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) has cleared him of any wrongdoing as it relates to the sanctioning of a professional bodybuilding and fitness show in The Bahamas last December. According to Stubbs, that along with leaked confidential information from a WhatsApp group, led to his suspension as BBFF president from the IFBB Disciplinary Committee.
“I’m just happy to be re-instated and associated with the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation,” said Stubbs. “There was some misconstrued information that was relayed to the IFBB which resulted in my suspension. I’m happy that I have been cleared and that the suspension has been lifted. It really struck me when I read the letter that was sent to my e-mail regarding my suspension. I knew that there was someone within that was putting information out there. I was shocked to what was happening, but I knew within myself, what I had done was transparent and fair and honest so I had nothing to really hurt my head and worry about. It was just a matter of submitting the document that I needed to submit in order to be cleared.”
As it relates to the Caribbean Grand Prix Pro Qualifier that was staged in December 2018, Stubbs said that he warned Bahamian athletes not to compete, and failure to heed that warning would result in suspensions. The show was under the auspices of the National Physique Committee (NPC), and the NPC and the IFBB are at odds. The IFBB severed ties with the NPC two years ago, and athletes under the scope of the IFBB are prohibited from competing in NPC shows.
“Persons can come here, rent a private venue and have a private show – there is nothing in place stopping that from happening. We went ahead and let our athletes know that they shouldn’t be involved if they want to be a part of the IFBB, and some still competed on their own free will so they will face suspensions. We said that, ‘okay if you’re going to have a show here then we need to collect money in support of the local federation’ and we did that. That money is in the federation’s account. At the end of the day, we can’t stop individuals from competing. There are those who have aligned themselves with the NPC and that’s their choice, but the difficulty exists in them trying to come back as they will face suspensions. The bottom line is the IFBB don’t want it and they will be suspended from IFBB events,” added Stubbs.
Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (CACBBFF) Vice President, and President of the Antilles region Danny Sumner is throwing his full support behind Stubbs and his executive team. Sumner, himself a former BBFF president, is the official spokesperson regarding handling of information on bodybuilding and fitness in The Bahamas at the CACBBFF level, and by extension, at the IFBB level. He is charged with overseeing the BBFF elections whenever they are called.
“Joel is still recognized as the president. This federation has come a long way, and Joel has done a tremendous job in promoting athletes and facilitating their needs,” said Sumner. “The federation came under some criticism due to negative articles that were sent to the IFBB in regard to the last NPC show that was held here in The Bahamas. As a result of that, a suspension was handed down to Joel Stubbs. The IFBB Disciplinary Committee has looked into the matter and decided that Joel has done no wrong. We’re blessed with a good president and a good executive body. Joel has actually promoted more athletes than I did. He and his team have a very big job to do if they are successful in being re-elected – that is to keep the athletes under the scope of the IFBB because we are losing very good athletes to the NPC, and maybe we have to make an appeal to them to get them to stay in the federation, but as it stands now, we are losing a lot of good athletes.”
Stubbs said that he will do what he can to keep athletes under the scope of the IFBB, and have them attain their pro cards that way. He said that he is looking forward to being returned as president when the elections are held, and continuing to work on behalf of the athletes.
“At the end of the day, The Bahamas will be back on good standing,” said Stubbs. “I see the potential of a few athletes who are knocking on the door of getting their pro cards and moving their careers to a higher level and I want to be the one to oversee that. I told my executive team that let’s stick with this a lil longer and let’s get these athletes to where they need to get to.”
The BBFF vice president, who served as acting president of the federation during Stubbs’ suspension, said that he is in full support of the current administrative team and is looking to continue the “great work that our forefathers started” and re-establish the federation as a great organization. He said that they will do what they can to maintain the integrity of the BBFF.
Sumner is encouraging Bahamian athletes to stay focussed on their training and be prepared to compete in the nationals, and represent The Bahamas at competitions locally and abroad. The premier amateur show for this region, the CAC Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships, is set for September 12-16, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“I just want to encourage athletes to continue to train and Joel and his team will be prepared to take you to the CAC this year,” said Sumner. “We have the strongest athletes in bodybuilding and fitness in this part of the world, and we don’t want to miss the CAC Championships. As small as we are, we intend to show our might at the CAC.”
As for the Bahamian athletes who competed in the Caribbean Grand Prix Pro Qualifier last December, Sumner said should they wish to return under the umbrella of the IFBB, they will be tested immediately and failure to comply will result in automatic suspensions. He said that the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC) in conjunction with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will submit their findings to the IFBB, and in turn, the IFBB will determine the length of time of the suspensions, or even if the respective athletes will face expulsion.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting