This thread is not so much about the Ohio State story itself but how decisions are being made on what we all read.
Last February a complaint was filed by me to the Ohio Attorney General's officer about wrong doing (conflict of interest with officials) at the Arnold strongman shows - the information about the stock fraud had not been uncovered yet - a similar complaint was filed with Dispatch assistant sports editor Scott Davis and sports Ray Stein who seemed interested in the story..
Interest in the story disappeared as it went up the ladder of authority I assume because neither would get on the phone with me as a follow up.
In July 2011 I emailed Dispatch owner John Wolfe and marketing director editor Phil Pikelny asking the Dispatch to drop its sponsorship of the Arnold Fit Expo for ethics reasons. I said I had a legitimate complaint about the individuals and the company that had been involved with the show for years.
I told them the officials for the Arnold Strongman Show were part of a company (International Federation of Strength Athletes aka IFSA) that had been partnered with the Arnold in the show from 2004-2007 but had defaulted on hundreds of thousands of dollars in competitor contracts and $63,000 in freight charges for their equipment (25,000 pounds used in other shows) that was abandoned to my friend and sponsor - a freight forwarder - in Philadelphia after what turned out ot be their last show that was held in Korea.
We stored this strongman equipment in Philadelphia for 2 years before it was sold for pennies on the dollar.
We attempted to put together a Federal lawsuit against IFSA in invited all competitors who were burned to join.
Many of the competitors who were burned by IFSA still competed at the Arnold. Many of the IFSA officials incredibly were still allowed to be referees and remain part of the selection process for the Arnold Strongman show which offers the largest purse in the sport worldwide ($150,000).
So you have a situation where there are potential defendants (IFSA) judging potential plaintiffs in a Federal lawsuit that had been planned in Philadelphia shortly after the IFSA collapse in 2007. Several (mostly) American competitors told me directly they were told by IFSA officials their careers were over of they had anything to do with Philadelphia and the lawsuit.
I put on a pro strongman show every year in Philadelphia.
Many strongman competitors wanted join us in the lawsuit but all eventually declined.
I told Wolfe and Pikelny I felt it was in appropriate for the Dispatch to sponsor an event that had this kind of situation going on. This is the replay I got from Pikelny (I never heard from Wolfe at all) :
I appreciate your note and the time you obviously put into contacting me and our Publisher. I can empathize with how you feel regarding this subject.
Let me verify for you that our news reporting is totally independent of any sponsorships we elect to undertake or not undertake. If you feel our sports editors have not been responsive, I invite you to contact our Editor Ben Marrison (firstname.lastname@example.org) since I’m sure he would want to know about such events.
As regards our sponsorship of The Arnold Fitness Expo (my area of responsibility), I appreciate receiving your information. I can honestly say that your issues are a first in terms of what previously been brought to my attention. In my capacity at the paper and as a board member of Experience Columbus, I have heard a lot about the positive results that event brings to our city.
Ethics are very important in our organization. We regularly review sponsorships we participate in, and your information will certainly be a part of that review. With all due respect to you, at this point in time, we don’t intend to cease our sponsorship. As the circumstances you relate evolve, we will certainly continue to review our involvement.
I do appreciate your concern and your contacting me.
VP, Dispatch Digital & Chief Marketing Officer
The Dispatch Printing Co.
34 S. Third St.
Columbus, OH. 43215
I did contact Mr. Marrison and he has yet to agree to a phone call.
In September, while putting together information a Federal Lawsuit to be filed by the Philadelphia trucker alone, I discovered not only the attempt to sell IFSA stock by lying to the public about the worth of its company (there are scores of bogus articles on the business wire and their press releases bare the Arnold logo), I also found out that the IFSA corporation was opened in Delaware but claimed a home address in South Jordon Utah. The address I was told was phony as the building at the address was still under construction - classic Ponzi Corporation scheme tactic.
At first they threw a lot of money around but the stock do not sell and they ran out of money in 2007 leaving millions in bills - people in Philly lost their jobs when the freight forwarder had to close his airport office.
This in not a joke and I am on here for the first time because I am frustrated with the people we trust to be above financial and personal politics. I am putting a lot on line by making this public.
These IFSA people - with documents I supplied the Ohio AG and the Dispatch that show they were formal partners with the Arnold Fit Expo - ran up a tax bill to the State of Delaware for $194,024.78.
The corporation is now voided by the State of Delaware but still owes the money to Delaware- all public documents.
Several of these characters STILL WORK WITH THE ARNOLD on the strongman shows (amateur and pro) under the name Strongman Champions League and are based in Europe.
These people came to the United States in 2004 - have an agent here - and had one goal in mind....to rip off the American Public...
All this information was forwarded to Marrison and so far nothing...no response at all.
And all the Dispatch can do is file stories about football players selling trinkets and one of them driving a car with the owner's permission?
When I read that hundreds and hundreds of journalists have died getting the public the news, I am a loss of works with this situation and the lack of journalism integrity by the Columbus Dispatch.