In an awe-inspiring triumph, Trinidad-born, Jamaica-based fitness athlete Avernell Modest clinched her Pro Card after dominating the stage and securing the overall Bikini title at the Ben Weider Natural Pro/Am Competition in Washington DC this Saturday. Just about three weeks’ prior, Modest had claimed a bronze medal in the F Class at the Ms. Olympia Amateur Competition in Orlando, Florida on October 30, setting her sights on the coveted Pro Card – a goal she swiftly accomplished.

Reflecting on her recent success, Modest shared insights with SportsMax.TV, shedding light on the valuable lessons she gleaned from her Ms. Olympia Amateur experience that undoubtedly contributed to her triumph in Washington.

"It’s an amazing feeling, I wish everyone can feel this at least once in their life," Modest exclaimed. "My coach and I went straight to work. We tweaked our front pose a bit and pushed conditioning a bit further. And we used my first experience from my last show into this show."

Understanding the competitive nature of the Bikini division, Modest emphasized the significance of first impressions. "Bikini division is always stacked, so I knew that the moment I stepped on stage, I had to give it my all," she shared.

Modest astutely observed the common backstage entrance strategy used by fellow competitors and seized the opportunity to set herself apart. "I noticed all the competitors went straight into the box from backstage, which is a side entrance. I took that as an opportunity to change my entrance by walking in-line with the box, then making my way into the box; I learned that from my last show also. I thought it was standard, but it wasn’t. The key was presenting well while fitting my category criteria."

To secure her Pro Card, Modest not only had to triumph in her height class (Class D) but also emerge victorious in the overall competition, competing against winners from all height classes (Class A-F). Undoubtedly, her strategic insights and commitment to perfection played a pivotal role in her remarkable achievement.

Now a Pro, Modest eagerly awaits her coach's debrief, eager to identify areas for further improvement. She is also anticipating feedback from the judges to refine her approach even more.

Expressing gratitude, Modest took a moment to acknowledge her sponsors, stating, "I’d love to mention my sponsors - Sweet Energy Fitness, Fitness Junkie-JA, and an honorable mention to Miss Audrey Allwood, the owner of FitFarm Fitness Club, where it all started."

Avernel Modest took a leap of faith in her quest to be the best and was rewarded with bronze medal at the Ms Olympia Amateur Bikini Competition held at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday.

“We took home the bronze medal at the prestigious @amateurolympia. Thank you to everyone for the continuous support, success is not final because there’s always work to be done,” the Trinidadian-born fitness athlete posted on her Instagram account.

Coached by the respected Dr Jean-Luc de Ganot, Modest won her Pro Card in 2017 but gave it up to enter the Ms Olympia Amateur contest. “The pro card is not everything,” she explained to Sportsmax.TV. "It’s about a champion mindset. I want to be compared to the best and this league is the best, even in the amateur ranks. Making that decision (to relinquish her pro card) and making the podium is a big deal.”

Sharon Ramos won the category (Class F) with Jessica Maguire, the runner-up.

The next goal on the pathway to becoming the best for Modest is to win her IFBB Pro Card.

Adam Senior, Tisshorna Robinson and Jovaughn McFarlane were the stars of the night at the second staging of the Jamaica Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Association (JABBFA) National Senior Championships held at the AC Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday.

Senior first claimed the prize as Mr. Jamaica in the heavyweight bodybuilding division before later taking the overall prize as Mr. Jamaica, defending the title he won in 2022.

Robinson also took home multiple awards on the night, claiming honors in the Bikini Fitness Tall Class before taking the title as Ms. Jamaica Bikini Fitness Overall.

McFarlane was the winner in the Men’s Physique Tall Class before being named as the overall winner as Mr. Jamaica for Men’s Physique Overall.

Rayon Jones, who finished as runner-up to Senior in the heavyweight division, took top spot in the classic bodybuilding category.

The Mr. Jamaica Muscular Physique category was won by Alex Mullings who also took top spot in the Men’s Physique Medium Class.

Andrew Chisolm came out on top in the Mr. Jamaica Master’s Bodybuilding category. He also finished third in the heavyweight category.

The Mr. Jamaica Bodybuilding Middleweight tile was won by Nicholas Campbell who was also runner-up in Classic Bodybuilding.

Nicholas Wilson took the Light heavyweight crown before finishing as runner-up in the Men’s Physique Medium Class.

The Men’s Physique Short Class was won by Wayne McCollough while Aldane Taylor took top spot in the Men’s Classic Physique category.

On the women’s side, Ashane Gordon-Morrison won the Miss Jamaica Body Fitness and Women’s Physique awards while Deana Wheatle took the Bikini Fitness Short Class.


In a monumental achievement for Jamaica's sporting landscape, professional IFBB Pro League athlete Kristen McGregor has emerged victorious in the Figure category at the Mr. Big Evolution Pro competition held from July 7-9 at Casino Estoril in Portugal.

McGregor's exceptional stage presence, posing prowess, and remarkable physical conditioning captivated the entire room, earning her the champion title in her category. This remarkable victory now paves her way to compete at the prestigious Ms Olympia contest later this year.

Reflecting on her journey, McGregor expressed gratitude for the triumph, acknowledging the challenges she had faced in the previous year.

"Last year was a tough year. I took off the season following my first show due to several unforeseen obstacles," she shared. However, with unwavering faith in God and a resilient mindset, McGregor approached her training with determination to secure her spot at the Olympia Championships set for November 2-5.

 "I trained for one year and entered my first competition, Mr. Big Evolution Pro, with a strong mind and determination to qualify for the Olympia Championships, and just as planned, it was executed, and I qualified," McGregor revealed.

This achievement marks a historic milestone in Jamaica's bodybuilding scene, as she becomes the first and only female representative from the nation to progress this far in over 25 years.

While the realization of her qualification for the Olympia stage is still sinking in, McGregor embraces the tremendous feeling of accomplishment. "It is indeed a tremendous feeling to have achieved this accomplishment," she expressed. However, she also hopes for greater support, be it financial or through endorsements, from her country as she prepares for the grandest competition of her career.

Acknowledging the challenges and hurdles she has overcome, McGregor expressed gratitude towards the sponsors and supporters who made her journey possible. "I give thanks to all the sponsors who made this show a possibility because it wasn't easy," she stated, extending her appreciation to Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited, Express Fitness, Millennium Technical Services, Champion Industrial Equipment, Dr. Alfred Dawes, other contributors/donors, and her family.

While McGregor relishes the joyous moment of victory, her focus quickly shifts to the daunting task ahead. "Right now, all I am thinking about is coming back home and eating some 'nice food' and getting back in the game because Olympia ain't no joke. This is where the big dogs come out!" she exclaimed.

McGregor is expected to arrive home in Jamaica today, Wednesday, July 12.

Jamaican fitness athlete Deidre Lewis has rebounded from a two-year anti-doping suspension, to win her Pro Card following an outstanding showing at the Mr and Miss America IFBB Cup in Lima, Peru, last weekend.

During the competition that ran from April 1-2, Lewis won the Bikini Senior Up to 160cm Class over Ambar Canas of Venezuela, Aminta Jeanette Lopez Ramirez of El Salvador, Vivian Isabel Buella Guevara of Peru, Pamela Sosa of Guatemala, Alejandra Milargros Chang Yui of Peru and Helen Orellana of Chile.

She also won the Overall Bikini Fitness title over Costa Rica’s Darla Gomez Bolanos and El Salvador’s Aminta Jeanette Lopez Ramirez.

The success means that Lewis would finally earn her Pro Card.

“I am very happy with my success. It has been long overdue,” an elated Lewis told Sportsmax.TV after returning home earlier this week.

“I was delayed but never denied. Delayed with entering shows previously and coming very close to earning the card and didn’t get it and second, the suspension for Zeranol, which didn’t give me any advantage and is a naturally occurring substance that comes from food and I had to stay away from the stage,” she said.

“So, I am here once my suspension was up I hit the ground running because I just wanted to get back on the stage.”

She explained that during her time off, she worked to get her body in peak condition with the goal of earning her Pro Card.

“I started operating like a pro. I trained like a professional and now I am a professional,” she said.

“I won my height class first and I was so overwhelmed because it was a really tight show. It was really great and I had the muscles that they were looking for on the day so I am very happy with this win.”

Lewis, who intends to make her professional debut at the Roger Boyce Classic in Barbados from June 1-4 depending on if she can get sponsored, said the success has helped put her mind at ease and boosted her self-belief.

“It has made me content, very content and happy. Actually, happy is an understatement. I am overwhelmed, elated because I have waited so long to come back to the stage it, it hurt my spirit to be away from the stage so I am happy I could have come back and come back with a bang,” she said.

“I am more confident in my abilities now. I have changed my mindset upon entering the competition because before I was more nervous, doubting my abilities. I have also revamped how I approach competition. It is important to have confidence on the stage and that oozed out of me on the stage and that was why I was triumphant.”

She reveals, however, that she remains rankled by the suspension that robbed her of two years in the sport.

“I am still not over it, 100 per cent,” she said.

“I am just disheartened that the substance (Zeranol), it was a minute amount, it is a naturally occurring substance. The expert said that this was not something that I took and I still had to serve a suspension for that just because I simply could not tell them where it came from,” she said while suggesting that changes need to be made to some of the rules governing doping.

“I think they need to change those rules in cases like these when it was not something I took deliberately. I am still disheartened by it but I am looking forward from all of it.”


Fitness athlete Avernell Modest is still basking in her third-place finish in the Bikini Class of the Inter-Island Bodybuilding Fitness and Physique Championships held at the Maho Casino Royale in St Maarten on July 3.

Kristen McGregor opened her 2022 season with an encouraging top-five finish at the Fit Muscle Championships in Mexico last weekend (April 23). The performance sets the tone for what could be an outstanding season for the fitness athlete, who is desirous of competing at the Miss Olympia competition in December. However, she can only achieve this if she can get consistent sponsor support.

McGregor, the winner of the 2020 Miss Olympia Amateur title in the Women's Figure Category, is a former national champion and CAC Champion and is arguably Jamaica’s best female fitness athlete of the modern era. However, it has been a struggle to attract consistent sponsorship support as she strives for her career goals.

“The major challenge I face as a national athlete is corporate sponsorship. I am a bit disappointed with the responses I received for sponsorship requests seeking help to represent my country and hoping that I would have gotten good responses, even given the fact that I am a recipient of the Prime Minister's Youth Award,” lamented McGregor, who is the holder of a Bachelor's degree in Sports Science from the University of Technology (UTech).

“However, I have to give big thanks to the companies that gave their generous support such as EduCom, Geolosndo, VM Group and to the contributing supporters.

“I do hope that going forward I might receive better responses from other corporations and our sporting body. The lack of support and sponsorship can impact my goals to represent Jamaica at the Olympia, as I am unable to cover the expenses related to travel and accommodation to participate in the various competitions, where I can only compete as a professional athlete in my discipline. It is my dream to represent Jamaica at the highest level of bodybuilding.”

That dream has been the fuel driving McGregor's ambitions ever since she transitioned from athletics in 2017 and what sparked her singular focus during the off-season in preparation for 2022.

“It has been nothing but hard work for every show. Hard work and focus are the common denominators for every season prep. l am in the gym every day and on diet for a maximum of 16 weeks during preparation,” she revealed.

That work paid off in Mexico.

“A top-five finish is a great accomplishment, considering the progress from last year, where I also finished in the top five in Puerto Rico Pro, and in the Tampa Pro placing 4th and 11th, respectively. However, for my first show since 2022, finishing in the top five is a great place to finish because I have already started to accumulate points toward the quantifying for the Olympia Competition,” she said.

“Only second through fifth-place finishers for each contest, depending on the tier of the contest can accumulate points. All competitors will have between September 13, 2021, to November 20, 2022, to qualify whether by placement or points for the big show in December, the Olympia held in Las Vegas. That being said, the progress has been going well.”

Too well even. In fact, she worked so hard during the off-season she might have bulked up a tad much.

"Last year was a bit different from this year, as I really didn’t get a chance to train properly for my debut and my first Pro show coming out of winning the Amateur Olympia in December 2020. I contracted the COVID virus which caused me to stop training and in the time between recovery and my first show, which was the Puerto Rico Pro, I didn’t have much time to bulk so we went straight in for competition," she said.

"I figured that was the reason I was too small because I was burning muscles while in recovery. My coach, too, reassessed and ended my season after the Tampa Pro in June and we started working on bulking up from that time. I had a wonderful off-season, no injuries or sickness so I was training right through.

"I think this time around we gained good size. I was able to condition properly without burning muscles. Coming out of this show, the judges said I was perfect in shape. However, based on how the other girls came in I was too big so I have to lose a bit more and I would be okay. So yes, I am on a good path but with that, my coach has decided on reducing by about five to six pounds more for my next show on June 17-19, 2022 which is the Puerto Rico Pro."



Trinidadian bodybuilder Dexter Simon continues to amaze.

On Sunday, two and a half years since he last competed, he finished in the top five of the Ajman IFBB Elite Pro in Dubai while competing against men 20 years younger.

Competing in the Men’s Physique Professional category, the 53-year-old phenomenon made the top five to advance to the final where he was also fifth.

No wonder he was proud of the work that he put in preparing for the competition.

“After two years and six months off the stage, this start of the 2022 season @ifbbelitepro_official in Dubai was unforgettable,” he said following his latest accomplishment.

“The seven months of preparation with a laser-sharp focus and daily sacrifices all paid off.”

Iran’s Mazinar Kiani took the top spot while Enrique Guitierrez from Spain finished as the runner up.  Balthan Haimour of Jordan was third.

Notwithstanding finishing outside the top three, Simon, who is still in Dubai, was more than satisfied with his showing.

“This is not an easy task at the age of 53 to make a top five amongst men 30-plus years younger,” he said. “My testimony is about self-care and self-love. Understanding that age is just what people say you are and not what you should allow being told you are or should be.”

He praised his twin brother Derrick, who was instrumental in helping him achieve his goal.

“A massive special thanks to my brother for his unwavering support with my daily training for the last seven months. I know you have become very familiar with Panadol, Olfen, and gels hahaha,” he said. “I could not have done this without you at all bro!! 

“So many days you helped me through some taxing workouts and made me uncomfortable until I became very comfortable to suffer and grow. Your words of advice and belief in me made the journey even better and the result even sweeter. Top 5 was your request and payment for your suffering and that is what I delivered. “

And delivered he did. Derrick told Sportsmax.TV that during the seven months, he changed some elements of Dexter’s nutritional regime and his overall preparation.

So what did he think of the outcome? “Excellent,” he said. “When he asked me to support him, I told him I would only help if he did the work to finish in the top five. When he came off the stage, he called me and said ‘you asked for top five, you got it.”

Simon will next compete at the IFBB Florida Classic from June 25-25 before he does the IFBB Central American and Caribbean Championships in Barbados from July 27-August 1. He will then travel to Spain for the Arnold Classic from September 15-19.

Jamaica-born bodybuilder Shawn Rhoden died Saturday of a reported heart attack, according to multiple reports.

Kristen McGregor was quite pleased with her performance at last weekend’s Puerto Rico Pro in the Bahamas where she finished in the top-six even though she was a bit perplexed as to the reason given why she didn’t place higher.

In the competition that is a Tier-3 qualifier for Olympia qualification, McGregor, who won the Miss Olympia Amateur in the Women’s Fitness Category in 2020, placed fourth behind Puerto Rico’s Jessica Reyes Padilla, Mexico’s Mayra Hernandez and Heather Dees of the USA.

“The competition was just like any other competition for me. I always go in with no expectations. I trained hard, I put in the work, I am ready, this is always my mindset going into any competition,” McGregor told Sportsmax.TV this week.

“I am quite pleased with my placement. Going up against 20 plus veteran females, who have either competed in Ms Olympia before, multiple times, placing fourth on my pro debut, amongst such calibre athletes, I am very pleased.”

She admitted, however, that she was caught off guard by the comments of one of the judges with whom she spoke afterwards about why she did not place higher.

“To be honest, I am not sure if surprised is the right word. I was more speechless, lost, confused when the head judge approached me backstage and complimented me on my “amazing physique, X-factor and shape but then said the only thing was I was a little too small, which lead me to ask, “What do you mean?”

“He explained, ‘You just need to get more muscle maturity and density because you are right on the money which will come with time, dieting and training’”.

She said she took very important lessons from the judge’s critique but is now more than ever before assured that she is on the right track in terms of dieting and training and that her structure and build are spot on.

“The areas I need to improve on are muscle maturity and size which will come through continued training and dieting,” she said. “But to get bigger for the next show now is all about increasing portion sizes and stepping up that training which my coaches are already over.”

As she continues on her journey to qualify for Ms Olympia, McGregor and her team have set their sights on the next Olympia Qualifying show, the IFBB Professional League Yamamoto Nutrition Cup Tampa-Pro-XIV National Qualifier at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tampa, Florida on August 5th-7th, 2021.

She thanked Jamaica’s Sports Development Foundation (SDF) and Proven Wealth as well as Victoria Mutual for the sponsorship support they provided that enabled her to compete in the Bahamas last weekend as she continues on her quest to Ms Olympia.


Fitness athlete Deidre Lewis has characterized as unfair the decision of an Independent Anti-Doping Panel to impose a two-year ban on her after she tested positive for the banned substance Zeranol.

Lewis returned an adverse finding for Zeranol following an out of competition test on September 29, 2020, and was notified of the results in December that year. Zeranol is a synthetic, nonsteroidal estrogen found in fungi and is used mainly as an anabolic agent in veterinary medicine. It also may be found as a contaminant in fungus-infected crops.

Following hearings on February 11, March 18 and 31 and April 2, the panel of Kent Gammon, Denise Forrest and Dr Donovan Calder “did not find on the evidence presented that the athlete, Ms Denis Lewis, bears no fault or negligence whereby the applicable period of ineligibility can be eliminated.

“In the circumstances of this case, the athlete is ineligible for a period of two years.”

The two years began in December 2020, when the athlete was first notified of the adverse finding.

Lewis, who maintains that she did not intentionally ingest Zeranol, feels she was unfairly punished.

“I feel it was a bit unfair although they were doing their jobs,” she told Sportsmax TV in reaction to the ruling that was handed down earlier this week.

She said her diet is about 80 per cent plant-based and because of that she has to consume large amounts of grains and nuts to get the amount of nutrients her body requires for her to achieve the desired results. However, she was unable to pinpoint what food she might have consumed that was contaminated with the banned substance.

Lewis, who won the Ms Jamaica Bikini Fitness Short Class Champion and the Overall Bikini Fitness Champion in 2019, said she has always been compliant with the measures imposed not only by the JABBFA but also the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission. “I have remained complainant and transparent with my whereabouts reporting and have always been available for random tests during and outside of my sixty-minute testing times,” she said in her witness statement.

“In total, I have been subjected to six tests, the first of which was in 2017 at the National Championships. A majority of my tests were done between 2019 and 2020. I was tested at the national championship on September 8, 2019, and at the Central America and Caribbean Championships (CAC) on October 13, 2019,” she said.

“In 2020 I was tested on February 25, July 15, and on September 29. All of the tests conducted in 2020 were out-of-competition tests. I have never resisted any test that I have ever been subjected to and I am always easy to locate, even outside of my allotted sixty-minutes timeslot for testing. All of my test results have come back negative, except for the adverse findings in this instance, which has caused me significant emotional distress and financial strain.”

During the hearing the panel heard testimony from Professor Dr Wayne McLaughlin who said that based on the amount of Zeranol found in Lewis’ urine, he concluded that it occurred from ‘natural intake’, suggesting that the athlete did not deliberately take the substance to enhance performance.

“From these findings of very low levels of α-zeranol (0.04nh/ml) and β-zeranol (0.16ng/ml) in the athlete’s sample would imply natural intake. It is, therefore, our opinion that the substances found in the athlete’s urine sample support the assumption that mycotoxin contamination caused the findings in the doping control specimens rather than a misuse of the anabolic agent.”

However, Professor McLaughlin did concede that there were few studies on humans with Zeranol.

“This is disheartening,” Lewis said, “because there is limited research. I don’t feel it’s fair but I have to live with it. I would like to appeal but I don’t have the money.”









The Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary (JADCO) has convened an Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel to hold a disciplinary hearing for national bodybuilder Deidre Lewis.

A few weeks ago, revelations came to light that an athlete had returned an adverse analytical finding, but the details of the situation have been kept relatively close to the association.

According to the release, Lewis will face the disciplinary panel via a virtual hearing, on Thursday.  The release also stated that the hearing, as is the protocol of JADCO, will be held in-camera.

Lewis, who competes in the Bikini Fitness Short Class category, won the national title last year, before competing in Aruba last August where she was second in the short class, finishing behind Febe Moreno of Mexico.  Lewis was third overall in the Bikini Fitness category.

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