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Doping shame ends Mr Universe's election hopes

Ben McPartland · 14 Feb 2014, 15:58

Published: 14 Feb 2014 15:58 GMT+01:00

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Who is Alexander Piel?

Alexander Piel is the chap pictured above with the rippling muscles and bulging veins.

So he’s just a bodybuilder?

No, he is not just a body builder. He is in fact the reigning Mister Universe 2014. Elsewhere you might have seen him accompanying François Hollande around during his presidential campaign in 2012, when Piel was employed as one of Hollande’s bodyguards.

Was he the bodyguard who used to bring Hollande croissants?

No. Although it’s entirely possible he did something similar, given that Hollande’s alleged/not denied affair with Gayet is believed to have begun during the election campaign.

Why is he in the news this week?

Well Piel has been in the news ever since he decided to ditch the dumb bells and launch himself into a career in local French politics. He joined the electoral list for the Socialist Party in the Seine-Maritime department in northern France. With a peerless physique and a record of a being a winner, things were looking up for Mister Universe.

And then…?

Well then the leader of the Socialist Party in the town of Caudebac-les-Elbeuf, Laurent Bonnaterre, dropped a bombshell this week. He revealed that Piel’s incredible-Hulk-style body might not have all been down to honest work down at the gym.

“I learned that Alexander Piel, who was running on the list titled ‘Caudebac for you’ was being held in custody as part of an investigation into doping agents,” Bonnaterre said in a statement.

“I immediately asked him to explain and he presented his apologies as well as his intention to withdraw himself from the list,” the mayoral candidate added.

According to France Bleu radio the body builder was arrested after French drugs squad officers intercepted a package addressed to him from Thailand. The package contained anabolic steroids.

OK so his political career is down the toilet, but what about his Mister Universe title?

Well Piel was officially crowned Mr Universe back in November in the German city of Hamburg. He won the title in the under-80kg category. According to reports the bodybuilder federation that runs the contest NAC International does not implement any drug-testing at the events. That doesn’t mean Piel won unfairly, it just means that no drug tests were carried out on any of the athletes, so it might have been a fair competition. Piel was lauded in the French media for his success but in fact his title, for what it’s worth, was not recognized by the French bodybuilding federation FFMFAC.

Still if you want to see him in action in Hamburg along with other impressive strong men and women, then enjoy the video below.

Story continues below…

But he wasn’t the only candidate for local elections to fall off an electoral list this week. In fact the real embarrassment was reserved for the right-wing National Front party. It emerged that one of the members on their electoral list for the town of Châteauroux was found to be hiding a neo-Nazi tattoo of an SS Waffen division.

Oh dear.

Bastien Durocher said the tattoo was an “error of youth” and said he had an appointment to get it removed. Nevertheless the National Front, which is desperately trying to clean up its image, kicked him off the list.

No doubt there’ll be more embarrassing stories about election candidates in the coming weeks?

Indeed. Watch this space.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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