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Department Fuming After Firefighter on Disability Competes in Bodybuilding Contest

Boston's fire commissioner is urging the city's retirement board to deny the disability claim of a firefighter who competed in a bodybuilding contest even though he claims he can't work because of a back injury.

Albert Arroyo, 46, reported that he suffered the injury on March 21. His doctor wrote that Arroyo should be granted an accidental disability retirement because he is "permanently disabled."

Yet on May 3 after collecting his full $68,000 annual salary tax free for six weeks, Arroyo finished eighth in a bodybuilding competition.

Arroyo, who inspects buildings as a member of the Fire Prevention Division, has since been shifted from injured leave to regular sick leave, which is taxable, after a doctor determined that any injury was not work-related.

A lawyer for Arroyo says bodybuilding helps the firefighter cope with the "rigors" of the job.

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