Famous bodybuilder dead at 46 – advises against steroid use

 Tributes have been paid to pro bodybuilder Rich Piana amid rumours of his death

Tributes have been paid to pro bodybuilder Rich Piana amid rumours of his death

ELITE bodybuilder Rich Piana has died more than two weeks after he was placed in an induced coma – with his estranged wife paying a touching tribute to her ex.

Fellow bodybuilders and fans had spoken of their shock this morning amid previously unconfirmed reports Piana had died after collapsing from a possible overdose.

A Florida medical examiner confirmed to TMZ that Piana died in hospital early on Friday morning.

Writing on Twitter ex Sara Piana said: “I’m in tears writing this that @1dayumay has just passed away. I can barely believe this… I am so saddened & heartbroken that he didn’t make it.

“I just want to say THANK YOU Rich for teaching me so much about life, whether it was the easy or the hard way.”

She added: “Rich, I hope you feel better now in heaven and that you’re up there healthy, smiling & telling everyone ‘how it is, being REAL & doing your thing’. Rest In Peace my dear husband.”

Fellow social media body building star and friend Bradley Martyn posted a picture of himself with 46-year-old workout champ Rich on Instagram with the message “Rest in peace”.

Neither Rich’s partner or company have confirmed his death but hundreds of tributes were earlier posted on social media as rumours swirled.

Piana's girlfriend Chanel had asked people to pray for him on social media

Piana’s girlfriend Chanel had asked people to pray for him on social media

James Mooney, co-founder of Gunsmith Clothing posted a message on twitter reading: “Gone too soon brother. What a sad day, can’t even believe it’s true…truly heartbreaking.”

Professional bodybuilder Dan Fine posted a tribute saying: “RIP to my great brother in iron @1dayumay #richpiana. Love you brother and I know you’re crushing it at the Great Gym in the Sky.

“You’ve left behind a legion of friends and fans the world over.”

Australian actor and bodybuilder Calum von Moger said: “A big man with a big heart- RIP Rich Piana.”

Online coach Jerry Ward posted a message on Instagram:  “Rich has passed. Confirmed. I waited till I knew it was real hoping it was fake news. It isn’t.

“I don’t know what to say. Outside of bodybuilding rich was my friend. He checked up on me and my ventures, he was always the one saying “let’s get a picture” when he was busy and I didn’t want to bother him.”

Rich reportedly collapsed as his girlfriend Chanel Jansen cut his hair earlier this month.

The social media star was placed into an induced coma after suffering “a medical emergency”, TMZ Sports reported.

Law enforcement sources told the celebrity news website: “Emergency personnel responded to a possible overdose call at Piana’s home on Monday afternoon.”

His girlfriend tried to catch him when he collapsed in the bathroom, but couldn’t due to his giant size.

According to TMZ, she was instructed by the 911 operator to perform CPR on the former bodybuilding champ, but was unable to revive him.

Police later revealed they found bottles of testosterone and white powder in the house and Chanel admitted to responders that he had been juicing for more than 20 years.

Last week Chanel was forced to respond to earlier rumours that Rich had died.

She posted a picture of the pair on instagram with the caption: “I just want to be clear [Piana] is STILL ALIVE. All myself and his family are asking for is positive thoughts, prayers, and love.”

Piana, who has competed in and won several bodybuilding competitions over the years, made headlines last year when he openly admitted to taking steroids.

Rich Piana has openly admitted to using steroids for more than 30 years

Rich Piana has openly admitted to using steroids for more than 30 years

He revealed his fitness regime consists of a massive steroid cycle, nine meals a day, a series of workouts not fit for the average human being and, according to one profile, “protein shakes big enough to drown a toddler in”.

Piana explained how he takes great care with his steroids use, how he understands the importance of “on/off cycles” and why he believes nobody in the competitive bodybuilding industry can compete without using performance enhancing drugs.

He said: “If you have the choice to stay natural or do steroids, stay natural. There’s no reason to do steroids, you’re only hurting your body, you’re hurting yourself.

“If you want to become a professional bodybuilder, guess what – you’re probably going to have to f***in’ do ‘em. You’re not going to have a choice.”

The winner of bodybuilding competitions in Los Angeles in 2003 and Sacramento in 2009, Piana said the secret to his success was his honesty.

He said: “Coming out, talking about steroids, just being straight up with people. I think people trust me.”

Piana has taken the internet by storm in recent years, with his ripped social media posts, work out plans and supplement business.

While Rich no longer competed in bodybuilding competitions, he had a massive following online with more than 1.2million followers on Instagram – who he inspired to push their bodies to greater feats.

Keen to capitalise on his large fan base, he had launched several business ventures along the way, and earned money through merchandise, supplements and endorsements.

In 2016, he launched a “bigger by the day” challenge, which promised fans they would gain 30lb of muscle if they followed his diet and workout routine.


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