Muscle Sport Magazine

“Rigged” Contests, Assault, Extortion, Tax Fraud Lawsuit Filed Against Manion, NPC

This is shaping up to be one bizarre weekend in the bodybuilding industry. On Thursday, November 5, Lee Thompson filed a multiple allegation lawsuit against Jim Manion and the NPC, and then he promoted a contest for that very same organization before heading out to Muscle Beach for the official unveiling of his newly formed Nspire Sports League on November 8.

MuscleSport Magazine has obtained a copy of said two-pronged, eight-page lawsuit and it includes allegations of “unlawful conduct” that Thompson observed during his tenure at the NPC on their board of governors and the Chairperson for the state of Texas. It also delves into alleged criminal activity By Manion and the NPC since the formation of the NSL (formerly NPC Global).

The lawsuit states that throughout his affiliation with the NPC, Thompson personally “discovered countless instances of unethical, unlawful and underhanded conduct on part of Manion, Manion’s subordinates and employees” of the NPC, and said conduct was “directed towards industry sponsors, athletes competing in unaffiliated events and athletes competing in National Physique-sanctioned events. Such conduct included, but was not limited to, extortion, coercion, intimidation, assault, battery, fraud, fraudulent inducement, tortious interference and duress.”

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The suit further alleges that Thompson uncovered “contests that were “rigged” in an effort to exert additional control over the industry and those participating in same. The judging and/or scoring of these competitions was “rigged” in order to ensure that certain athletes won competitions and to ensure that certain athletes failed to win competitions.” Another point was Thompson encountering “numerous instances of tax fraud on the part of National Physique in an effort to maintain its non-profit status and enrich its officers and directors.”

Regarding what has happened since Thompson left the NPC in September, the suit alleges that he has been the “victim of various attempts by Manion and National Physique to tortuously interfere with his and Nspire’s attempts to organize, promote, market and conduct Nspire-sanctioned events and competitions. National Physique and Manion have harassed, threatened, intimidated, punished, banner and/or ostracized athletes and sponsors in the industry as a result of their affiliation with Thompson and/or Nspire.”

There is also a reference to a similar lawsuit filed against the NPC in 1982 by the AAU (the organization that Manion broke away from to form the NPC) with, “In  that lawsuit, the Court enjoined National Physique from punishing, threatening or interfering in any way with any persons on account of their participation in AAU competitions. National Physique has continued its tortious and illegal conduct to this day as it now engages in similar attempts to stymie competition from Nspire.”
This is an application for temporary injunction and permanent injunction and exceeds $75,000 in damages (the minimum jurisdictional requirement of the court applied to).
We have reached out to both sides for comments and have yet to receive a response as of this writing.