Victor Martinez discusses Shawn Rhoden’s Olympia win over Phil Heath in 2018 as well as the fallout after the sexual assault allegations.
There’s one major mystery that hasn’t been answered in regards to the 2020 bodybuilding season – will Shawn Rhoden be able to compete? Ever since Rhoden’s Olympia 2018 win over Phil Heath, his entire career spiraled due to sexual assault allegations laid against him by a female bodybuilder. Since then Rhoden has been caught up in a legal battle to defend his reputation. In the meantime he has be banned from competing in the Olympia until proven innocent of the charges. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Victor Martinez reacts to both Shawn Rhoden’s Olympia win and the fallout after the sexual assault allegations.
Victor Martinez is both a bodybuilding competitor and a bodybuilding promoter these days – which is why we thought it would be important to get his reaction to the sexual assault allegations thrown at Shawn Rhoden. More importantly, how the Olympia and the IFBB handled the allegations by revoking his pro card and banning him from competing. Was this a smart business move or a decision made too quickly?
Victor Martinez explains it from both viewpoints. He understands that in today’s cultural climate a business needs to protect their brand first. So while the United States law holds an individual innocent until proven guilty, a company brand might want to play it safe and wait for the results of the courts.
As a bodybuilder though, Victor Martinez finds the decision troubling. It breaks the integrity of the competition leading up to the following Olympia 2019 and also could potentially ruin Shawn Rhoden’s career even if he eventually gets found innocent in the courts.
We also take the opportunity to talk about the higher points of Shawn Rhoden’s career. Namely his Olympia 2018 win over then-reigning champ Phil Heath. Some criticize the judges decision, claiming that Phil beat Shawn in every pose pound-for-pound. Victor Martinez thinks that the situation is more nuanced than it appears upon first glance.
Check out Victor Martinez’ full GI Exclusive interview segment on Shawn Rhoden in the video above.