Mike Stagg’s Election Statement

What is your opinion on the use of WADA banned substances and the current ADFPF stance of complete ban on testosterone usage?

Obviously, I support it as I had much say in the current direction of these policies so let me elaborate. I support WADA banned substances as they do a good job of identifying substances that create an unfair advantage. Having said that, the ADFPF policy of no supplemental testosterone for any reason runs counter to what WADA actually accepts. Our current policy regarding testosterone use is one of practicality. In our opinion, prescriptions for testosterone has become far too easy to get. While there are some absolute situations where it is necessary, most cases are extremely subjective and virtually impossible to enforce according to the WADA guidelines. The ADFPF current position was reached after consultation with a number of medical professionals as well as individuals currently under doctor’s prescription for testosterone use.

There are some policies that I think are beneficial to address with the WDFPF. Among them are the lifetime usage ban and having a better policy for individuals who become banned for a first offense after taking an over the counter supplement that they did not know had a banned stimulant. I do not have the solution but I do believe these situations and current WDFPF policy should be discussed and objectively consider both viewpoints.

Why do you wish to run for this position?

I have literally spent a lifetime in this sport. I believe I have skills and talents that have improved the ADFPF over my current tenure. This is my way of giving others the same (or better) opportunities I have had. I have had three sons compete and have tremendous lifetime experiences through their involvement as well.

This position requires working with others through difficult, contentious situations. It must be done in a professional and non-judgmental manner. Can you give some personal background that shows you are qualified to handle such matter?

I have been an engineering manager in two Fortune 500 companies since 1998. I have managed employees in China, India, Brazil, Poland, Italy, Mexico and of course, the USA. I currently serve as Managing Partner is three companies. I believe my background and experience has enabled me to work with a variety of viewpoints and cultures to move an agenda forward.

What is your background in powerlifting and how did you come to be involved with the ADFPF?

I started powerlifting competitively in 1982. I have won National Titles in the USPF, ADFPA, and APF. I have also won world titles in the WDFPF and WPC. I have held numerous titles and records over the years. I believe I have seen both the good and bad in the sport. When the ADFPA (now USAPL) split from the WDFPF I chose to continue supporting the ADFPF as the WDFPF affiliate. I became involved in the administration through running meets. I was approached by Roger and Judy to take over the ADFPF as they believed I would continue to move the organization in a way that stayed true to the principals the ADFPF stands for.

Please list one item that you would like to see the ADFPF address and improve.

Wow—-just one? I would like to see the national meets become more of a showcase event and be a springboard to the World Championships. Along with that, we need to give some level of financial support to the top selected lifters to represent the ADFPF to travel to the World Events.

I will be running for the Position of President of the ADFPF. For those that do not know me, I took over as President of the ADFPF when Judy Gedney stepped aside. While the ADFPF did have a board at that time, Judy was essentially a one woman show. When I took over the ADFPF, my first task was to establish a new board makeup to move our organization forward. There were multiple challenges at that time as we did not have a very functional website and our records database was very cumbersome to update and keep current. I quickly got an appreciation for how much of herself Judy had given to the ADFPF. While I will always be grateful for the work Judy put into the ADFPF, it was critical that we move the organization forward while growing and thriving in a way that makes our founders proud. I have been an ADFPF member (and prior to ADFPF, ADFPA member) since 1987. I know more history about the formation of the ADFPA (and formation of the USAPL) and transition to the ADFPF than most lifters. This knowledge is important in realizing that the fundamental values of the ADFPF have not changed nor waivered since its founding by Brother Bennet.

I would like to highlight the areas where I put specific focus and efforts and feel the organization has made good progress.

Website: The ADFPF website was recreated to try to be more user friendly and contain more relevant and up to date material. We now have online membership registrations and most meets have online registration. Our upcoming meets and records are maintained more consistently and are rarely outdated. We post articles regularly and keep relevant links to the WDFPF and WADA active.

National Meets: For years WDFPF affiliates in Europe could set world records at their National championships. However, due to drug testing protocols and availability of international judges, this was not an opportunity for USA lifters at our National Championships. That was resolved several years ago shortly after I took over as President. This has resulted in more American and Internationally certified judges in our organization as well as establishing WADA compliant drug testing at ADFPF National Championships. While we are still pushing to increase our pool of International judges, we have made significant strides in this area.

ADFPF Board Composition: I believe the ADFPF board is made up of professional and competent individuals who have a passion for our sport and mission. We are also establishing elections and have created clear job descriptions for each position. In truth, I often feel my best accomplishment is getting the right people involved in our organization. Ultimately, it is through the collective efforts of these people that improvements are made.

Future Focus: I am currently focusing on bringing more consistency and prestige to our National Events. This includes both the venues and quality of the lifters. We have started and have ideas to generate funding for selected individuals representing the ADFPF for World meets. We have also partnered with the Mr. America expo. I believe this will serve to increase our recognition in years to come.

I would like to thank you for your consideration and especially, our outstanding board of directors who have taken on varied responsibilities allowing me to focus on ideas that we have agreed are critical for our future growth.