The annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia is a highly regarded and important event, with a prize pool exceeding $57 million, with “Miss Camel” taking home $30 million.
Becuase of the nature of the event, obviously cheating is incredibly frowned upon. The handbook for last year’s event stated, “Camels that are found with drugs in lips, shaved, dyed in any parts of the body, or with changes from natural form are not allowed.” Fawzan al-Madi, chief judge of the festival echoed those sentiments saying, “The camel is a symbol of Saudi Arabia. We used to preserve it out of necessity, now we preserve it as a pastime.”
Over 30,000 camels were entered into the event, and unfortunately, scandal has ripped through the contest. It’s been discovered that already 12 camels have been given Botox injections “for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw.” According to Ali al-Mazrouei, whose father breeds camels, the injections make “the head more inflated so when the camel comes it’s like, ‘Oh look at how big is that head is. It has big lips, a big nose.'”
The 12 camels discovered to have been injected have been disqualified for cheating, though no fine has been levied yet against the trainers.