With just over four weeks to go before the Arnold Classic, one of the most highly anticipated newcomers to this year’s contest, Rubiel “Neckzilla” Mosquera announced that he was officially pulling out due to visa issues. Mosquera made the announce via Instagram on Tuesday afternoon say:
“Due to unexpected visa challenges and my readiness, I’m stepping back from competing @arnoldsports in Ohio, USA this year. My sincerest apologies to @arnoldsports and all of my supporters. My journey to the stage is on hold, but the dream lines on….Grateful for your endless support, and sharing my journey to the stage soon!”
Although the announcement came as a shock, those close to Mosquera’s camp had been openly discussing concerns about his ability to obtain a visa that would allow him to compete in the US since the early stages of his prep, but had remained hopeful that an expedited process would allow him to make the trek to compete in Columbus, Ohio for, what would have been, the biggest test of his short career in the IFBB.
No reports have indicated if Mosquera still plans to compete at the Arnold Classic UK, which is slated to take place March 15-17 – which is only two weeks after the Arnold Classic.
Aside from the apparent visa issues, there had been a number of voices in the bodybuilding community who expressed open concerns about Mosquera’s conditioning in recent weeks and, his own stating of “readiness” being a cause for his withdraw from the Arnold Classic certainly isn’t going to do much to silence his most vocal detractors, which include Michal Krizo, who said during a recent interview that he thought Mosquera was “All hype. I don’t like him as a bodybuilder.”