Victor Martinez Out of 2012 Arnold Classic Due To Immigration Issues
By Joe Pietaro
Just over two months away, the 2012 Arnold Classic is basically right around the corner. For the competitors, they have already begun their contest preparation and will be kicking it into high gear those last eight to six weeks. But for Victor Martinez - a regular and former winner in Columbus, Ohio - none of that is to be. While that may have been getting more and more apparent as he awaits his freedom, the Dominican Dominator made it official by bowing out of the contest.
Being held since November 7 on immigration issues, Martinez had little choice but to step aside at this time. In fact, he may find himself actually deported back to his home country of the Dominican Republic if a federal judge makes that decision on January 6. The government has to either release him, deport him or charge him with a crime within 90 days of being detained.
The trouble began for Martinez, 38, when he returned from the IFBB Arnold Europe on October 11. He actually won the show and has seen his career on a huge upswing after a brief lull. His green card had apparently expired and Martinez failed to apply for a new one. Coupled with the fact that he has been convicted of a felony in the past, this spelled disastrous as Martinez found himself in front of a United States Customs agent at the airport.
At an earlier hearing, the judge denied Martinez bail and ordered him back to his 6 X 8 cell in New York.
The 2007 Arnold Classic champion will have to straighten out his immigration status and hopefully will have that opportunity while living in the US. With the start of the IFBB contest season nearly upon us, Martinez will need extra time to get back into shape with this unexpected span of inactivity and no choice of what his diet consists of. The best case scenario is that he misses three months, and even that is a long stretch for a professional bodybuilder to have no control over his daily life.
The entire sport of bodybuilding awaits the announcement of Martinez's fate next month. If deportation occurs, he would still be able to compete at overseas shows, but the 'Big Two' of the Arnold and Olympia will have to wait until Martinez either applies for another green card or citizenship.
Source: MuscleSport Magazine (http://www.musclesportmag.com/2011/12/21/victor-martinez-out-of-2012-arnold-classic-due-to-immigration-issues/)