A BODYBUILDING dad died of cardiac arrest brought on by his secretive use of anabolic steroids
A BODYBUILDING dad died of cardiac arrest brought on by his secretive use of anabolic steroids, an inquest heard.
The body of Jason Langdon was found in the back of his works van in Radford Park Road on April 8 last year.
The inquest, led by assistant coroner Andrew Cox, heard how Mr Langdon, aged 27 – who previously owned the Mutley tattoo store shop Sailors Grave – was found face down with a cut and bruise to his face in the back of the white van shortly after 4pm that day.
His stepfather, Andrew Martin, speaking on behalf of Mr Langdon’s family, said he was a “fit and healthy” man who had been bodybuilding since the age of 17.
The inquest heard Mr Langdon “never got sick” and did not like to bother the doctor. He would train most work days and would go out most weekends with his brother Aaron.
Mr Martin explained that the family “didn’t think Jason had taken steroids for a couple of years”, but revealed that he had recently complained about “heart palpitations and headaches”.
The inquest heard how Mr Langdon, a groundworker, and his brother had left for work in their respective vans early that morning and drove to Tesco, Lee Mill to buy lunch for later that day.
Mr Langdon, who lived in Buzzard Road, Tavistock, had climbed into the back of his van to connect his mobile phone to charge it on the work’s generator. His brother said he would see him later and drove off to work in Bristol.
Inquiries by police found CCTV footage which showed the van pulling up outside a charity shop in Radford Park Road, Plymstock later the same morning, Mr Langdon getting out of the driver’s seat and entering the rear of the van, possibly to retrieve the mobile phone.
Over the next few hours passersby, workers at the charity shop and others made note of the van, with some banging on the side of it and others calling police and parking attendants.
At one stage the van, which had two wheels on the pavement, was given a parking ticket.
A PCSO sent to investigate found both passenger and driver’s door unlocked, but the side door locked. The firm which Mr Langdon worked for, Jet Clean UK, was contacted and warned the vehicle would be taken away if not moved.
Workmates who had grown increasingly concerned about Mr Langdon’s whereabouts were contacted by the company office. As a result of their concerns they headed to Radford Park Road.
Drainage engineer Gary Gilchrist, in a written statement, said he and a colleague arrived and immediately checked the area, believing Mr Langdon may have been working nearby.
The colleague opened the rear door – which had been unlocked – and they made their grim discovery.
The inquest heard that Mr Langdon – who had a daughter aged nearly three – was found “face down on his hands” with a fresh cut to his nose. The generator was on its side, although no explanation was found for this.
Police found were no suspicious circumstances and an initial post mortem was inconclusive.
Pathologist Dr Francis McCormick told the inquest Mr Langdon’s heart weighed 574 grams. For his height of 6ft 2ins, the weight range would normally be expected to be between 320 and 412 grams. She said his heart was “quite significantly bigger” than expected for his height.
Tissue, urine and blood samples were sent for analysis which found a “recently ingested” synthetic anabolic steroid – nandrolone – along with elevated concentrations of other anabolic steroids.
Taking into account Mr Langdon’s previous history, and the medical statements coroner Andrew Cox said the cause of death was sudden cardiac death brought on by the misuse of anabolic steroids. He recorded a verdict of misadventure, explaining that though the taking of the steroids was a “deliberate act” it had an “unintended outcome”.
EARLIER this month parents of a bodybuilding fanatic who died from taking anabolic steroids spoke out about the muscle-making drug.
At an inquest in Bradford, West Yorkshire, heard how 20-year-old fitness fan Oli Cooney was warned by doctors that he was putting his life at risk if he did not limit his body building and weight-lifting.
It was revealed that he had already suffered two heart attacks and three strokes due to his intake of anabolic steroids.
He told his family he wanted to change his body image and felt “invincible” on the drug.
After complaining of chest pains he had attended hospital where he was diagnosed with chronic heart damage.
The inquest heard he had stopped taking the anabolic steroids but the irreversible and long-term damage to his heart had already been done.
He collapsed and died after running for a taxi in September last year.
Following the inquest, Mr Cooney’s parents, Simon and Sarah Cooney, said they wanted their son’s death to drive home the message that steroids can kill.
Mrs Cooney said: “Oli was driven by a passion for bodybuilding and unfortunately it was that passion that took his life. We would not want anyone to go through the hell we have been through. We will never move on from this.”
Nandralone came to prominence after being banned by sporting organisations.
In 1999, sprinter and 1992 Olympic gold medalist Linford Christie tested positive for nandrolone, though had has always denied the charge. British tennis player Greg Rusedski tested positive for nandrolone in 2004, but was cleared of the charges in a later hearing.
Anabolic steroids are prescription-only medicines that are sometimes taken illegally to increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance.
Nandrolone mimics naturally-occurring steroids that act in a similar way to the hormone testosterone.
It increases muscle size, strength and power and allows bodybuilders to train harder and for longer.
However its side effects include kidney damage, increased blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and increased risk of heart disease and liver disease.
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