Several Female Bodybuilders Say They Were Sexually Exploited

February 23, 2023

Several female bodybuilders are coming forward saying they were sexually exploited in order to advance their careers. Inside Edition spoke to some of those bodybuilders, including Ava Cowan who claims she was blacklisted for several years when she spoke out about Jim Manion, president of the National Physique Committee, and J.M. Manion, the league's official photographer. She says she later felt pressured to apologize publicly to them. She says she eventually agreed to pose in lingerie in order to win competitions. In a statement, J.M. Manion says he is shocked by the allegations and emphatically denies any wrongdoing. A spokesperson for the National Physique Committee and the IFBB, the sport's governing body, says all of the allegations are false, adding that they are committed to providing competitors and fans a premium experience.

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