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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Dalton bodybuilder arrested in Germany on drug charges

A VETERAN bodybuilder and Furness gym owner has been arrested while abroad on suspicion of smuggling drugs.

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DRUG CHARGES: Bernie Cooper

Bernie Cooper was arrested in Bavaria, in south west Germany, on Monday on suspicion of attempting to smuggle drugs, the Evening Mail understands.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm the arrest of a British national on January 7 in Bavaria.”

The spokesman added the Foreign Office would provide Mr Cooper with consular assistance should he require it.

Mr Cooper owns Bernie’s Gym, in Chapel Street, Dalton, where he has helped coach and advise countless people get into shape and pursue bodybuilding.

During his decorated career in the sport, he has continually defeated men many years his junior to win a raft of titles.

He reached a national audience in 2007 when he featured on the BBC television programme Bodybuilding Pensioners – a documentary which focused on senior citizens who live for working out and competing in contests.

The Evening Mail reported in October 2006 how Mr Cooper achieved his ultimate ambition by being crowned Mr Universe, when he was filmed for the same documentary.

Aged 60 at the time, he landed the National Amateur Bodybuilding Association’s over-50s title at that event, held in Southport, beating competitors from the UK, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Holland, Brazil and Poland with a unanimous decision from the seven judges.

He told the Evening Mail at the time: “This is my best ever achievement in bodybuilding. Mr Universe is the ultimate prize in this sport.

“It’s like winning an Olympic medal, it’s that kind of standard.

“Only one other guy from the UK has ever won it in this age category before, that was two years ago.”

Among the other numerous accolades to his name, Mr Cooper has been crowned Mr Cumbria, World Champion and won gold in the Commonwealth Championships.

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