KUTA (Indonesia) (AFP) - Some of the butchest bodybuilders in Asia slip into their briefs, oil their muscles, flex their brawny shoulders and strike a pose. The sport, or art as they like to call it, is mocked by many, but few dare argue the point face to face. Bodybuilding isn't a discipline that springs to mind when you to talk about sport, yet it is a medal event at plenty of multi-sport carnivals around the world, with the inaugural Asian Beach Games here the latest to embrace it. But it is also synonymous with drug abuse and all did not go well in Bali this week with Bhutan failing to submit its doping documents in time and its athlete thrown out. And Sri Lankan official Chandana Aluthge failed to make the trip after recently being banned for two years for assaulting the president of his federation. Undeterred, the remaining 71 well-oiled competitors flexed and strutted in front of the suited officials at Kuta beach with six gold medals at stake. Indonesia ended up with two of them, while Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and South Korea split the rest. "I am very grateful that body building was accepted as an Asian Beach Games sport," said International Body Building Federation president Rafael Santonya. "It gives the athletes the chance to show the art of body building to Asia. It was a strong field here."Many of the bodybuilders at the Beach Games spent months preparing, watching their eating habits and working out at least five times a week. Over the years there has been no better exponent than the Terminator himself - Arnold Schwarzenegger. The massively successful seven-time Mr Olympia, Mr World and Mr Universe, who took his Midas touch to Hollywood and then to politics, is the icon among icons in bodybuilding circles. For those in the sport, his name seems to be the definition of manliness, coolness, and action. "Arnie is very big. Very big indeed among bodybuilders. His name is on everybody's lips," according to Paul Chua, the IFB vice-president for Asia who is known as the "father of bodybuilding". So what's it all about? According to the international federation, it's about "muscular bulk, balanced development, muscular density and definition." To really be in with a chance you need a "harmonious, classical physique ... athletic bearing and correct anatomical structure." Well-shaped feet and toes count, but if you've got acne, tattoos or a scruffy hairdo then you are finished before you even start. And of course, you've got to be adept at posing. For many it's a lifestyle, and its popularity is growing. In China, 30,000 people have been known to cram into a stadium. On the Asian circuit, South Korea, Japan and Singapore are the main players with Vietnam and Myanmar catching up. And then there are steroids, long associated with the sport by sceptics who see bodybuilders as relying more on chemists than bench presses. Officials acknowledge it has been an uphill battle but insist much has been done to crack down on drug cheats. In Asia, the sport largely owes its profile to Chua's efforts. In 1983, the Singapore Bodybuilding Federation, of which he is president, had the distinction of being the first organisation in Asia to run an IFBB Mr Universe. The region now has the Asian Pro-Am, the Asian Women, the Asian Masters, the Asian Juniors championships, and now the Asian Beach Games.