Bodybuilder Rich Piana, who died Aug. 25 weeks after he was hospitalized after he collapsed and hit his head in the bathroom of his Florida home, snorted pre-workout powder like it was cocaine, TMZ Sports reported citing his death report.
Investigators looking into the death of the 46-year-old said in the report that Piana’s autopsy was essentially inconclusive but mentioned that he died of heart attack. However, it was unclear what triggered the heart problem.
Law enforcement officials spoke to Piana’s girlfriend Chanel Jansen following his death and learned that the star used to take a Con-Cret Pre-workout powder (Lemon-Lime), which according to TMZ is advertised as a high-caffeine booster.
Jansen told police that Piana “would snort this powder” but she does not believe it was anything illicit.Piana was put in a medically induced coma following his hospitalization Aug. 7. Before he collapsed at his residence, Jansen was reportedly giving him a haircut. When first responders arrived at his residence, they found 20 bottles of steroids, some white powder, straws and a credit card.
It remains unclear if the 20 bottles of steroids found in his home were a cause of his untimely death.
While many reports — published after Piana’s death — claimed that the bodybuilder died of a drug overdose, his girlfriend denied the rumors.
In a lengthy YouTube video, Jansen detailed what happened the day Piana collapsed. She said she was giving him a haircut when he fell down to the floor.
“I thought he was stretching and all of a sudden he started to fall back to me,” she said. “I said, ‘Baby, are you OK?’ As he came back, his eyes were rolling into the back of his head.”
“I went to catch him and he was sweating so he slipped, bumped his head, fell back,” she continued. “His eyes were wide open and he was gasping.”
Jansen also said in an interview that Piana’s cause of death was a heart attack and he “was gone before he even hit the floor.”
“They said he had no chance of a meaningful recovery and he was in a vegetative state,” Jansen told People magazine. “I said, ‘It’s a good thing it’s not up to me because I love him so much I’m too selfish to make that decision [to take him off life support].’ He was breathing on his own for nearly a week, and then he just let go.”
While addressing steroid use, Jansen said: “You all know he’s been doing steroids for 20 years and it shouldn’t be any surprise that he had steroids in his house.”
“Twenty bottles is not a whole lot and they had been there a year,” she continued. “He wasn’t overly juicing.”
Piana had been open about his steroid use, despite saying that its usage “can kill you.”
“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,” he explained in an April 2016 YouTube video. “If you want to become a professional bodybuilder, guess what — you’re probably going to have to f——’ do ‘em. You’re not going to have a choice.”