After two weeks in a medically induced coma, Rich Piana has unfortunately lost the battle at 46. Rich has died after going into a coma following a medical emergency at his Florida apartment.
Piana collapsed while getting a haircut on August 7. His girlfriend, Chanel, tried to revive him but was unable to wake him. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was placed into a medically induced coma.
Earlier this week, his girlfriend Chanel posted on Instagram saying that Rich is “alive and OK” — but unfortunately he was unable to recover.
The District Six Medical Examiner in Florida confirms Piana passed away early Friday morning at the hospital.
A preliminary search at his apartment revealed more than 20 bottles of steroids and a white powder — but it’s unclear if the substances played a role in his death.
Fellow bodybuilders and fans spoke of their shock amid previously unconfirmed reports Piana had died after spending more than two weeks in a coma following a possible overdose.
His estranged wife Sarah confirmed the news on Instagram. She wrote:
“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. We had our ups and downs but we sure had an awesome time in each other’s presence along with us fighting through some dark times together.
You truly touched many people’s heart and helped so many!!! It inspired me in many ways to see the huge impact you had on people all over the world. Not many people know that me and him are STILL legally married till this day despite all rumors. I have NOTHING to gain by saying that but want everyone to know the truth. I know that people say stuff on social media but I truly am not the “bad” person people think I am. I actually saved Rich’s life 1 time before, glad I was there for him at that time.
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.
#GoneButNeverForgotten #RichPiana #RIP 😢 🙏🏼❤️. P.S. I want to wish my deepest condolence to Chanel @c_no5 and thanking her for being there for him, loving him & showing him support. You’re an angel.
We will all miss him so much, may his soul & spirit Rest In Peace Forever🙏🏼.
XOXO Sara Piana.”
46-year-old Piana competed and won several bodybuilding competitions over the years — including Mr. California — and became an Instagram sensation, racking up more than 1 million followers.
He worked on TV series including Scrubs and Ripley’s Believe It or Not as well as being a stuntman in Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes and working out with “The Mountain” from Game of Thrones – Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson.
Rich had been a bodybuilder since the age of 11, was competing by the time he was 15 and admitted to using anabolic steroids since his late teens.
On Instagram and YouTube – his videos, describing his lifestyle and workout techniques, often got tens of thousands of views. More controversially he also described what steroids he took and how often he took them. He once 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.”
We send our thoughts and prayers to the Rich Piana’s family, relatives and friends.