In our mantra of remaining neutral and merely reporting newsworthy industry information, we have received a response to our request from the IFBB/NPC in regards to Lee Thompson still promoting contests under their banner. That has been a topic of much debate and speculation and we had only one side of the story. So this was a conversation that we welcomed with open arms.
MuscleSport Magazine was contacted by a reliable source in the IFBB/NPC that requested to remain anonymous and informed us that the two shows (NPC Formulation 1 Classic held on October 17 in Houston, Texas and the NPC Texas Fall Classic held on November 7 in Irving, Texas – both national qualifiers) that Thompson promoted since leaving the IFBB/NPC were not cancelled because doing so would have been unfair to the competitors and that the ones who qualified for a national-level NPC show will in fact be honored.
The source further stated that Thompson had previously paid for the sanctions of the contests for the remainder of the year and it would have had to be resolved by the courts to put another promoter in place to run them. Also, Jim Manion preferred to have a “peaceful transition.”
Regarding the upcoming Space City Physique NPC Championships (scheduled for December 12 in Houston, Texas), the source stated that this is not a NPC show and the infringement lawsuit filed by Manion and the NPC against Thompson was partially in response to the NPC logo being prominently displayed on the flyers for this contest.
MSM has also reached out to Thompson for a comment regarding this information, who informed us that he was in fact reimbursed the sanction fee that he paid for the December 12 show but that it was never discussed to do the same for the two prior shows. “That was never on the table,” says Thompson.
Asked about the possibility of the NPC reimbursing him for all three of the shows to avoid confusion, Thompson quickly quipped, “They didn’t want to lose the money; those were big shows. They made about $30,000 and $23,000 (respectively) on them.”
In response to the flyer for the December 12 contest, Thompson and Nspire Sports League lead counsel Charles Johnson stated that the original artwork was done back in November of 2014 when the NPC Texas schedule was first drawn up and the one being posted on forums such as Muscular Development’s No Bull was in fact the old one (shown above) that was posted on a Facebook page months ago when it was still in fact valid (pre-NSL).
Thompson has been posting the new flyer (right) and it does not have any mention of the NPC. It is, in fact, what Thompson calls the “soft launch” for the NSL.
“It’s going to be a test run for our new divisions and new transparent judging software program,” he explains. “We’ll have our hard launch in March.”
Since Thompson will be running the December 12 show under the NSL – and not the NPC – banner, there has been a new show added to the calendar for the same date in Houston. “They added this show three weeks ago after Ed and Betty Pariso were named as my successors in Texas,” says Thompson. “And it shows you how desperate they are by rolling out 80 IFBB pros to be there…that’s more than they do for Jim Manion in Pittsburgh (an IFBB pro show held in the league president’s hometown that attracts a guest posing line-up that rivals the Arnold or Olympia).
“They’re bringing out the entire army against me at my first show (under NSL). Why not do this for a Muscle Mania or Paul Dillet (WBFF) show?”
Lastly, we have confirmation from the IFBB/NPC that Thompson did in fact resign and was not fired, as Muscular Development’s Bob Cicherillo had reported on numerous occasions. Thompson had said all along that it was his choice to leave and Cicherillo posted on the MD website’s forum that the IFBB/NPC had made the decision. “Lee has been removed from his position,” and “he was let go” are two examples of the erroneous information that the IFBB pro/athlete’s rep/emcee had posted.