We fully stand behind the article that we posted yesterday regarding Victor Martinez and Muscular Development, regardless of what has transpired since then. Here’s the quick recap for those of you have not heard: our managing editor Gregg Valentino personally spoke to Martinez on 7/11/15 and was told that he was no longer with the publication after 12 years under an exclusive contract. We spoke about this on the 7/13/15 episode of The Gregg and Joe Show and followed that up with the article.
Then on 7/16/15, Martinez posted on his verified Instagram account the following: No one understands loyalty…Never left…never will. Official Muscular Development Magazine forever! #oldschool #VictorMartinez
Hmmmm…seems as if there was some scrambling done in reaction to our reporting Martinez’s departure from MD, where he has been exclusively for 12 years.
It’s not as if we received this information via third party or hearsay; it came directly from the horse’s mouth. Plain and simple.
Whatever transpired pursuant to that would not be something we could have been privy to. And it is also interesting how no one from MD refuted this when Big Mike Cox posted about it on MD’s ‘No Bull’ forum on 7/15 asking for clarification from someone there. David Baye, Ron Harris and Peter McGough replied, but just regarding how social media has changed bodybuilding and exclusive contracts – which is not exactly refuting our story.
On 7/16, a poster by the screen name Matthew Liew wrote: Not true. They are rumors started by individuals with different agendas. Victor is a close friend whom I speak with regularly and I can assure you with certainty that he did NOT part ways NOR did he get let go by MD.
(Valentino is also a close friend of Martinez’s and they know each other since the Dominican Dominator was an amateur bodybuilder.)
That was followed approximately six hours later by Harris: Please check Victor’s most recent post on his IG, ifbbvictormartinez . Also, Steve B will be responding on this thread later today.
Bottom line, this story was spread by Joe Pietaro and Gregg Valentino. Both were let go by MD and are very bitter about that, and used Victor to serve their own agenda. All I can add to this is that Victor will continue to work with MD. He is part of the MD family.
Let’s take this line-by-line.
*We’re not denying what Martinez posted on IG, but that doesn’t mean something changed since our story was published.
*As of this writing, we are still awaiting the response/explanation from Steve Blechman.
*This story was reported by us (Gregg Valentino and this writer), we were both let go by MD and are, of course, bitter about that. No argument there. But we did not use Martinez to serve our agenda. We are merely being transparent and reporting a story that is of interest to bodybuilding fans – something unfamiliar to MD, as they have made a number of questionable decisions in 2015 during the #WhyCutBack era that it still in effect.
Just like Evan Centopani and Jose Raymond before him, Martinez’s status was in doubt for quite a while and their readers continued to post on the forum asking about the athletes they have come to expect being in the magazine they support. There was never a straight answer from MD personnel to any of these questions.
*Let’s read into that last part for shits ‘n’ giggles. Martinez will “continue to work with MD” and is still “part of the MD family.” Sounds as if Blechman was either pushed into re-signing him as a knee jerk reaction to our story and getting a negative reaction to it (as some people posted on their forum) or they are going to announce that although Martinez is not exclusive, per se, he is still going to appear on a regular or semi-regular basis in the magazine (on a pay-per-shoot basis).
However you slice it, MD will come out of this looking unprofessional and they have proven that loyalty means nothing to them, regardless of how they fix the Martinez situation now. Too little, too late.
Steve Blechman’s promised statement on this came a day late and – from what it sounds – many dollars short. We break it down line-by-line here. It says nothing and is totally ambiguous in so many ways:
*You can’t believe everything you read online. – Sure you can, when the source (MuscleSport Magazine) received it directly from the subject in question (Victor Martinez).
*We have had a long standing relationship with Victor, which began in 2003, and continue to do so. – Yes, Martinez had a long standing EXCLUSIVE contract with MD since 2003, but failed to notify him if it was going to be renewed or not, hence the questions being asked a month ago on their own site by their readers if he was coming back or not. OK, so Victor appears to be back with MD in some capacity after we posted our story and they took flak for it. But is that an exclusive deal?
*The dynamics of exclusive agreements have certainly changed, but we will continue to work with the athletes with continued exposure in the industry. – I suppose that this answers the above question. So if FLEX or RX Muscle approach Victor for an interview, shoot or video, is he permitted to do so without breaking his agreement? Does he even have an agreement? (Transparency by MD would go a long way in making those questions a moot point.)
*Victor also knows this changing dynamic and is now putting on his first bb show August 22, 2015. We are excited to partner up with him to help promote this show, and we know with Victor’s vision, it will be a complete success! – Is this the extent of their relationship at this point? Again, sketchy & carefully crafted words by Blechy leave their readers and Victor’s fans scratching their heads and still wondering what role – if any – he has with the actual publication. And Victor himself deserved better than to have to go out of his way to defend MD and show loyalty, only to have this meager paragraph to base his future on.