Organizers of the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival have carried out the biggest bust of Botox cheats in the event’s six-edition history, according to the official SPA news agency.
At least 43 participants were found to have artificially tampered with the appearance of camels in various ways including injecting Botox into their lips.
Other methods of manipulation included using rubber bands to distort body parts, and using gel implants.
The stakes are high, as competition winners can take home a total of $66 million (250 million Saudi riyal) in prize money, and private sales can fetch millions of dollars.
Saudi Arabia’s Camel Club, which organized the event, is using a host of high-tech methods to judge the competitors.
Camels are inspected visually for desirable traits that include gait and physical proportions before undergoing x-rays, ultrasound tests, and genetic analysis.
The Camel Club said that the high number of violators found is evidence of the “strength and strictness” of fighting tampering.
A number of camel beauty pageants have sprung up in Gulf countries in recent years, including the Al Dhafra Festival in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The contests pay tribute to the traditional Bedouin heritage of the Gulf, which placed a high level of importance on the desert-dwelling dromedaries.
The King Abdulaziz Camel Festival is billed as the world’s largest and began on December 1.
It is taking place on a 32 square kilometer area around 100 kilometers northeast of the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Claims of Botox tampering have marred the festival since at least 2018.
Camel beauty pageant to be held in Abu Dhabi from December 14-21A week-long camel beauty pageant in Abu Dhabi emirate will begin on December 14, instead of December 23 as originally planned, according to the ... Gulf
Saudi Arabia gearing up for hosting world’s largest Camel FestivalSaudi Arabia will host the world’s largest camel festival on December 1 and will run for 40 days. The Kingdom will bring together camel owners from ... Art and culture
Clone your camel: Beauty pageants, races spur high demandCloning is in high demand in the competitive world of camel beauty pageants, leaving scientists at a Dubai clinic working round the clock to produce ... Art and culture