A section of national body builders who have qualified for next month's “Man Ghana” contest at the Osu Presby Hall are demanding a written contract with the organisers before they participate in the competition.
They said they are not prepared to put up with the usual hide-and-seek game that the organisers play with them when it comes to fulfilling their part of the deal after competition.
The competitors who pleaded anonymity said the National Amateur Body Builders Association, in conjunction with the Ghana Body Building and Fitness Association, has over the years taken them for a ride, threatening that they will explode if they were not given their prizes.
Narrating their story to the Graphic Sports, they recalled how some of them had to borrow money from friends after last year's show before they were able to go back home.
The organisers have come under a barrage of criticisms after reneging on their promises after last year's competition.
“We were only promised we would represent Ghana in Korea and as we speak, nothing like that has happened,” they said.
The “macho men”, mostly the experienced ones, argued that considering the amount of money and time invested in sculpting one's body it was incumbent on the association to, at least, help those who excel to recoup their investment.
President of the association, Mr Abdul Hayye Yartey, who has been singled out for allegedly using the men for his personal gains was not readily available for comment, but the body builders say both parties need to sign an agreement so they could initiate legal action if the organisers failed to honour their word.
The association is yet to make this year's prizes public but the Graphic Sports can say that apart from the days of Richard Eshun (Dallas), Luther King and Robert Nsafoah when the competition was known as “Mr Ghana” in the 1990s, the prizes in recent times are nothing to write home about.
The most attractive prizes was in 1995 when Dallas was presented with a motor bike for being the overall winner.
Kofi Salia (Asase), Mohammed Abdul Akim, Musah Attah and Sadiq Abdul Rahaman qualified from the Northern sector to join defending champion Obuor, Christopher Antoh (King Sabato), Arnold Aryee, Cornelius (Captain), Mustapha Richardson, Yaw Azure (Sweat) and Eric Odei from the southern sector for the November 23 event.
If all go well, this year's competition could be one of the hotly contested as most of the senior body builders could be mounting the stage at least, on the local front for the last time. The rivalry between Sabato, Arnold and Mustapha could be re-enact.
Story by Daniel Kenu