Iranian Bodybuilder Denied US Visa

Hadi Choopan is one of the strongest, and best bodybuilders in the world. However, it looks like he won’t be able to show the world how good he is this September on the biggest stage in bodybuilding. Not because he hasn’t qualified for the Mr. Olympia competition, but because he is from Iran. Unfortunately, Choopan is an Iranian citizen. The problem is that in 2017 President Trump placed Iran on the terror-prone nations list. When a country is placed on this list, there is a travel ban for all their citizens. No one is doubting that Iran shouldn’t be on the list.

Choopan is 5’5”, 220 pounds, and absolutely ripped. He recently won the International Federation of Bodybuilding show in Vancouver, and automatically qualified for the 2019 Mr. Olympia competition. Even the Mr. Olympia website has Choopan listed as one of this year’s competitors. But again, the problem is that he is an Iranian citizen.

Choopan and his camp have reached out to the US authorities at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. However, he still has not been granted a visa to enter the United States, and ultimately compete in this year’s Mr. Olympia competition.

Several people have declared support for Choopan. Bob Cicherillo, a former successful IFBB bodybuilder and the current Pro League representative for the Mr. Olympia, sees this as a “government thing between the US and Iran.”  Cicherillo also stated, “I would like to see him, the pro league would like to see him, and the fans would like to see him competing. The guy is a talent. He’s one of the best in the world.”

Even Dave Palumbo has tried to help Choopan. “I’ve called for the government to grant Hadi a visa based on the fact that he’s an elite level athlete who should be immune from the politics and sanctions against his government. “

As of now, representatives for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services have declined to comment on the Choopan case. We will continue to follow this story closely, and will update you as soon as new information is available.

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