Rich Piana Dies; Famed Bodybuilder Was 46
Rich Piana, a bodybuilder famous for his massive physique, has passed away at the age of 46.
Piana was put in a medically-induced coma after he collapsed while getting a haircut on August 7.
Sadly, he never awakened, and his family shared the sad news of his death this morning.
Authorities have stated that they will conduct a full autopsy and investigation in order to determine a cause of death.
According to TMZ, a preliminary search of Piana’s apartment revealed 20 bottles of steroids and an unidentified white powder.
Piana was an admitted steroid user but at this time, it’s unclear of substances played a role in his death.
With more than 1 million Instagram followers and the title of Mr. California under his belt, Piana was one of the best-known names in the world of bodybuilding.
Piana reached more mainstream audiences through frequent media appearances, including a memorable segment on the popular Comedy Central series Tosh.0.
In his interview with comedian Daniel Tosh, Piana spoke of retiring from bodybuilding for his health.
“Your heart doesn’t know the difference,” Piana said when asked about the difference between a physique that’s 300 pounds of muscle versus one that’s 300 pounds of fat.
Unfortunately, it seems the allure of the lifestyle and its attendant money and fame were too much for Piana to resist.
While he retired from competition several years ago, Piana maintained his massive physique as a means of sustaining his online popularity.
This is the second death of a well-known bodybuilder this week.
On Tuesday, the world learned that Piana’s colleague Dallas McCarver had passed away after choking on food.
As in Piana’s case, authorities are planning to conduct a full investigation and toxicity screening.
In a surprisingly candid YouTube post from 2014, Piana admitted to 30 years of steroid use, telling his followers that performance enhancing drugs are a sad necessity of his profession.
“If you want to become a professional bodybuilder, guess what — you’re probably going to have to f—in’ do ’em,” he said in the video.
“You’re not going to have a choice.”
Piana went on to caution his fans of the dangers of hormone supplements, saying:
“There’s no reason to do steroids, you’re only hurting your body, you’re hurting yourself.”
Tragically, it seems Rich Piana may have had difficulty following his own advice.