September 14, 2015
You’ve probably heard by now and yes, it’s true: Kai Greene is not competing in the 2015 Mr. Olympia. All outward appearances pointed to Greene, the runner-up the past three years, taking another shot at the Sandow. But in an online video released earlier today, Greene said he was “not going to be allowed to compete.” A tearful Greene went on, explaining that, “There’s just more going on behind-the-scenes than I am at liberty to say.” Perplexing, to say the least! Greene gave no concrete reason in his over 9-minute video, so FLEX reached out to Olympia promoter Robin Chang to see if he could shed some light on the Kai situation. Here’s what he had to say.
FLEX: Let’s get right to the point: is Kai Greene banned/prohibited from competing in the 2015 Mr. Olympia?
Robin Chang: Not at all! Kai has had his Olympia contract since April but refused to sign it for reasons known only to Kai. This is the same contract Kai has signed for the past 6 years. Nothing has changed but the dates. If he was banned from competing, why would we send him the contract? I’ve even heard he said he was banned from the expo! Are you kidding me?
FLEX: But from Kai’s video, it seems as if the decision was not his. Rather, the decision was made for him. And it was made recently, just a few days out from the show. There was no indication of this earlier in the year. Was there anything that was said to him that would lead him to believe that he was banned from the contest?
RC: The decision has always been Kai’s. If he REALLY wanted to compete, all he had to do was sign the contract and send it back to us, like he has done the past 6 years. The last time I spoke to Kai was with his manager about a month ago when they inquired about a booth at the Olympia. No indication that he wasn’t going to compete. I haven’t spoken to them since.
FLEX: Once a competitor qualifies for the contest, they have a certain time frame to sign the contract and return it to you, the promoter. And it's the same for all pro contests. Can you give our readers a brief breakdown of the contract procedure?
RC: Under the IFBB Professional League rules, a competitor has up to a week prior to the competitor check-in to sign his contract. The Olympia is a little different because it takes us an entire year to prepare for an event this size, so we ask the competitors to return their contract as early as possible so we can include them in various marketing materials. Without a signed contract, we can’t put a competitor on posters, ads, etc., as it would be misleading to the fans and ticket buyers. And let’s be perfectly clear here, the contract pertains only to the Olympia and competing in the Olympia. It is not binding to the IFBB Professional League as a whole or Jim Manion in any way whatsoever.
FLEX: When the date to return the signed contract passed, was there any follow up?
RC: The deadline was in May, but Kai asked for an extension, as some athletes do for various reasons. I granted Kai the extension so he had until early July. I’ve personally reached out to Kai numerous times, like I do with all qualified competitors, to remind them of the due date. I even reached out to his manager, his girlfriend and his supplement sponsor (at the time) to make sure he was aware of the deadline. I’ve also spoken to Kai on multiple occasions and reminded him that without the signed contract, I can’t put him on the poster or any marketing materials - and he won’t be allowed to compete. At one point, he even sent me a text stating “The contract is already as good as signed, faxed and in your office filing cabinet” but as of this interview, we don’t have a signed contract from Kai.
FLEX: And one day before the athlete check-in, still nothing?
RC: At this time, still nothing. Obviously, we would love to have Kai compete in the Olympia. He’s a great bodybuilder and a fierce competitor, and from a business standpoint it would be foolish for us to ban him. He has a huge fan base because his passion for the sport shines through, but for his own reasons, Kai chose to not sign his contract and not do the show. The decision was solely his, as it is for any and all athletes. While we will miss Kai, the Olympia will go on for the other 183 competitors who earned their way into the Olympia to compete this weekend.