“Big Ramy” Tests Positive For COVID-19, Withdraws From Europa Pro

“Big Ramy” Mamdouh Elssbiay has released an official statement to his Instagram that he tested positive for COVID-19.

IFBB Pro League bodybuilder Mamdouh Elssbiay, also known as “Big Ramy” has officially withdrawn from competition at the 2020 Europa Pro Championships in Spain after testing positive for Covid-19. Big Ramy took to Instagram to make the announcement concerning his health and safety concerns. You can read the post in full below.

View this post on Instagram

I would like to make the official statement that I have tested POSITIVE for COVID-19. Therefore, I will not be able to compete this Sunday 11/10/20 at @npceuropean championships. I wanna wish good luck to the athletes and the promoter of the show my friends @emilio_martinez_romero and gian rico . I am devastated with this news as this is completely out of my control and it is the second preparation i loose cause of this virus… I stayed 5 months stranded in dubai after the cancelation of arnold australia and now another big chance to qualify for olympia just vanished in front of my eyes… But life goes on and the show must go on if it was just about me i would go and compete!! I have a little cough but nothing that bad but it would be irresponsible for me to risk older people life…So I will fight this little virus and get back to doing what i love the most :Bodybuilding… I want to thank everyone around the world for always supporting me YOU ARE MORE THAN FANS YOUR FAMILY . Please, know that I will be taking all precautions to not transmit this virus to anyone, i will quarantine myself a couple weeks and return stronger and healthier than ever.. I wanna thank my sponsor @dragonpharma_llc for supporting me all the time and providing me with great products for my preps and this time i will use their new Rx Line to boost my immune system and fight this corona #bodybuilding #BigRamy #teamdragonpharma #DragonPharma #TeamBigRamy ps: please understand the state of mind i am in right now i will take a couple days off social media thanks for those who will understand God bless everyone

A post shared by BIG RAMY (@big_ramy) on

“I am devastated with this news as this is completely out of my control and it is the second preparation I lose because of this virus,” Big Ramy wrote in the caption. “Please, know that I will be taking all precautions not to transmit this virus to anyone, I will quarantine myself a couple weeks and return stronger and healthier than ever.”

Big Ramy was a favorite to win the show on October 11th in Alicante, Spain and qualify for the Mr. Olympia Contest. He placed 3rd behind William Bonac and Dexter Jackson at the 2020 Arnold Classic. A win at the Europa Pro Championship would have automatically qualified him for the Mr. Olympia Contest. Big Ramy was sitting in 3rd position on the Olympia scoring system behind Maxx Charles and Lukas Osladil. His highest placing at the Olympia was second in 2017 to Phil Heath.

The news raises even more questions about the unsteady footing bodybuilding has found itself on since the COVID-19 pandemic first began. Although many of the IFBB’s main roster of events are returning to in-person venues, it remains a challenge to make sure athletes — who are often traveling internationally for these competitions — are safe and able to perform in front of others.

While the pandemic has caused many setbacks due to mandated lockdowns and social distance guidelines, this is one of the first big examples of a competitor’s season being sidetracked from contracting the virus. It is now evident that Big Ramy will likely not qualify for the Mr Olympia 2020 given the only other qualifying event is scheduled to take place next week at the Chicago Pro 2020. Unless Big Ramy receives a special invitation from the Mr. Olympia promoters, it is safe to say we will not be seeing Big Ramy on the stage this year. Generation Iron and the bodybuilding community wish Big Ramy a speedy and strong recovery.

Will Big Ramy be given a special invitation or another chance to qualify for later IFBB events? And will this news affect any of the guidance and protocols of upcoming competitions – especially the Mr. Olympia itself which is now only just one and half months away?

Only time will tell but one thing is for certain. This has been and continues to be a rollercoaster of a bodybuilding season.


*All images and media courtesy of Instagram.

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Tess Pollok
Tess Pollok is a sports writers and social media manager reporting on the latest trends in bodybuilding, fitness, and strength sports. She also focuses on community engagement with our ever-growing social media network.