Written by Aaron "Jewbacca" Singerman Thursday, 10 March 2011 19:53
Source RxMuscle Mag
As everyone knows, this past weekend was the Arnold Fitness Festival and, more specifically for bodybuilding fans, The Arnold Classic Pro Bodybuilding Championships. When I set out for Columbus this year, I had many goals, but my main one was to get to the bottom of what's going on with Kai Greene. He's been one of my favorite bodybuilders for several years now, and when I recently heard he was no longer working with long-time friend and mentor Oscar Ardon, and has instead decided to work with pre coach George Farah, I became concerned. It wasn't because Farah is a bad prep coach/guru, it was because I felt that Oscar
and Kai worked well together, and maybe more than that. In the least, their story is compelling. Oscar met Kai in the gym when he was just a kid, still living in a group home. They would drive together as teenagers in Oscar's car listening to the Conan movie sound track and dreaming of being on the Olympia stage. And years later, their friendship helped Kai achieve the pinnacle of the sport they both loved so much. It certainly is a compelling story! I hated to see it end; so did many others. Being the nosey yenta that I am, I called Oscar to find out what happened.
Arden responded very openly, "I don't know what happened. We were supposed to talk a few weeks after the  Olympia, but my calls and text messages went unanswered. This is the first I have heard of Kai working with George!"
In a conversation that lasted over an hour, I could tell that Oscar felt hurt by not hearing from Kai. He felt like Kai was more than a friend; a member of his family.
"If Kai wanted to work with someone else, that's his decision, and regardless, I would support him. I believed our friendship was deeper than that. When Evan [Centopani] decided not to use me this year, I understood; and to this day, we remain friends. I'm happy for his success, just as I would like to see Kai succeed," Oscar added.
Fast forward to the 2011 Arnold... I had a golden opportunity. All the players were in the same place at the same time. This was my chance to find out the real story.
I was backstage at the Arnold Classic men's night show, and both George and Oscar were backstage watching their athletes (George watching Branch; Oscar watching Victor) compete on the big flat screen TV. As they watched, I slithered next to George and asked:, "Are you prepping Kai this year?" and George answered, "Yes, I've already started helping him for the New York Pro." That really isn't big news as it's been covered extensively on the Internet message boards for over a week by this point.
I asked the big question I had been holding in all weekend: "George, why did Kai leave Oscar?"
Farah immediately replied, "He was ripping him off. Taking 50% of everything he earn!"
At that point Oscar was only a few feet away, but I thought it best to hold off on telling him what Farah said till I did some more checking. I asked two other sources in the know, and they both basically agreed that Kai felt like Oscar was charging him too much.
Last night, I called Oscar to tell him what I was told, and to get his reaction. To put it mildly, Oscar took it poorly. He was very emotional, and had to take 10 minutes to gather himself before giving me his side of the story for the record.
"It is disappointing to hear... Wow... I'm kind of hurt, man. Really hurt. I don't do this for the money. I have helped a lot of athletes... Evan, Kevin English, Desmond Miller, and Victor Martinez, and never taken a dollar. I've invested in them, because I wanted them to succeed."
Oscar then went on to recount training Kai for the New York Pro in 2006 and three shows in 2007, all for no fee. After Kai won the Colorado Pro in 2007 Oscar decided that he had other interests he would like to pursue, and he told Kai that it was time for him to continue on his own.
Oscar recalls, "Kai didn't feel comfortable doing it on his own, and told me that because of the way I assisted him-- training him in the gym, cooking his meals-- there was no way he would do this without me. He told me that he wanted to do this 50/50. I told him, are you sure that's what you want to do, because that's a lot of money? And he told me that if he didn't place, neither of us would get anything."
Oscar continues, "Right from Kai's mouth, he told me that if he didn't place in the money, than he or I don't get anything. He felt it was a fair deal."
It's important to note that Oscar was getting 50% of Kai's contest winnings; this deal didn't include Kai's magazine deal, his supplement contract, or any appearance fees... the bulk of Kai's earnings. It's also important to note that this deal was done with a handshake; nothing was signed. Oscar insists that if at any time Kai felt like it was unfair, all he had to do was pull him aside and talk to him about it.
I encourage you to listen to ACCESS BODYBUILDING this week and hear the entire interview with Oscar Arden.
After doing the interview, I asked Oscar if he felt some sort of a cathartic release from talking about the whole affair. His response? "I feel like a close friend just died."
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