SALT LAKE CITY — Bodybuilder Shawn Rhoden lost his eligibility for the 2019 Mr. Olympia contest one day after he was charged with raping a woman in a Sandy hotel room.
American Media CEO David J. Pecker announced in a statement Friday that he had revoked Rhoden's eligibility in the competition this year and in future years. Rhoden won the title of Mr. Olympia in 2018.
The competition is owned by American Media. The company also announced it would "suspend coverage" of Rhoden in its media brands, including "Muscle & Fitness" and "Flex" magazines until the case has been resolved.
Rhoden, 44, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with rape and object rape, both first degree felonies, and forcible sexual abuse, a second degree felony.
The woman, a female competitive bodybuilder who described Rhoden as a mentor, went to visit Rhoden at his hotel on Oct. 12, 2018, while he was visiting Utah from California, according to the charging documents.3 comments on this story
The woman told police that Rhoden forced himself on her and sexually assaulted her, despite her trying to push him away and telling him repeatedly to stop, the charges state. She said Rhoden stopped and let her leave when she told him she needed to go downstairs or else an acquaintance waiting in the lobby would know "something (was) up," according to the charges.
A DNA sample found on the woman's body was matched to Rhoden, police said.
A warrant for his arrest was issued Thursday.
Rhoden — nicknamed Shawn "Flexatron" Rhoden — currently holds the title of Mr. Olympia, awarded annually in an international bodybuilding competition affiliated with the IFBB Pro League.