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10 Famous Bodybuilders Who Died in the Line of Duty and Why




                Dying at your prime or before even reaching it is the worst thing that can happen. However, it is the people you leave behind that will bear the burden for the obvious reason – death is a mystery and the departed may have lost their consciousness forever. This is the case of the many fans in every corner of the world whose fan has been cut short by the demise of their sports icon. In this article, we are going to look at famous bodybuilders who died before they realized their dreams. In other words, they passed on before they accomplished much in their bodybuilding career.

NOTE: We acknowledge the pain their family, friends, and fans went through or a still undergoing due to their death. We wish you comfort and peace.

Dallas McCarver

                McCarver was a 26-year old 3-time IFBB winner who collapsed and later died due to an upper respiratory infection. He was participating in Arnold Classic in Australia when the tragic event happened. At only 26 years of age, McCarver had won 3 out of 5 IFBB competitions he had participated in. This should give you a clear picture of what the young man was to achieve had he lived longer.

                There are several theories about the cause of his death but the official medical report pointed to the condition mentioned above. One of the theories was that he was using too many steroids. Supporters of this theory argue that the fact that McCarver took a video of himself chest pressing 160-pound dumbbells is proof his death was sudden. Although his death cannot be attributed to steroid use directly, there are many pointers the drugs played a part in it. For instance, steroid use has long been associated with heavy lungs, enlarged kidneys, and liver, as well as papillary thyroid carcinoma. Be advised that steroid use is not entirely harmful but the nature of the steroids one uses and their usage could cause your body to react differently.

Sifiso Lungele Thabethe

                Another young bodybuilder whose life was cut short, Thebethe was only 23 years old when he died. Unlike most bodybuilders whose deaths were a bit mysterious, his was pure accident. He was entertaining a crowd when he landed on his neck causing him serious injuries. Thebethe was pronounced dead later and that is how his bodybuilding career ended abruptly.





Greg Kovacs

            Greg Kovacs was a Canadian bodybuilder who died from heart-related complications in 2013. He was 43 at the time of death. Kovacs was a unique bodybuilder given that he was extraordinarily tall, at 6’4” and weighed around 400lbs in muscle mass. Although he was older compared to most bodybuilders on this list, he still had a promising future. The Arnold Classic competition ranked him 13th in the year 2004 and that was just the beginning. He was to clinch more titles given that his arms alone measured an astonishing 27 inches by the time he died. Had Kovac had a few more years with us, he could have broken and set records that no one could break. May his soul rest in peace.

Franco Columbu

           If you’re a fan of bodybuilding and fitness, you cannot miss this name. Franco Columbu is remembered for winning many titles, among them Mr. Olympia in 1976 and 1981. He was a great friend of Arnold Schwarzenneger and in addition to bodybuilding, the two also acted a movie (Pumping Iron, 1977) together. One of the strongest men to ever grace the bodybuilding stage, Columbu bowed out in his prime, leaving many with heartaches.



Andreas Munzer

             The Austrian bodybuilder is thought to be another victim of steroids gone wrong. Andreas Munzer was a professional bodybuilder who put all his energy into what he loved. As expected, his hard was never in vain. By the time he died in 1996 aged 31, he had won the 1988 IFBB world amateur games among many other titles.

Andreas’s liver and kidneys failed, and on March 12 1996 he started bleeding internally. Doctors tried their best to stop the bleeding and save his life but he eventually lost the battle on the morning of March 14, 1996. Although he never won Mr. Olympia or Arnold Classic, Andreas Munzer’s impact was felt wherever he went.

Ed Corney

               Ed Corney’s life was marred with health complications that eventually caused his death. He first suffered a near-fatal heart attack but survived. Nearly two decades late, Corney had a brain aneurism that turned fatal. He bowed out in January 2019 but not without a couple of honors to his name. The Hawaiian won Mr. World and Mr. Universe two times each as well as Mr. America once. He was another undisputed legend who earned himself a place not lonely on the fitness stage but also in the film industry. Ed Corney appeared in the movie, Pumping Iron, the same one that was acted by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbu. The fact that Corney dined with kings makes him a king as well. May he continue resting in peace.


Daniele Seccarecci

              Both on 17 February 1980, Seccarecci lost his life in 2013 when he collapsed and hit his head. His interest in bodybuilding started at a tender age but he only attained professional status at the age of 26. Despite his short career that only spanned 6 years. Seccarecci managed to stand up to the challenge and made an impact. The Livorno-born bodybuilder came close to qualifying for Mr. Olympia in 2006. However, he managed to win national and regional titles that put him on the world map.

      As a young bodybuilder, Seccarecci was not very experienced with steroids and this turned out to be his undoing. Despite getting arrested and put under house detention for marketing illegal steroids, he stuck with the substances. The final straw was when he had a cardiac arrest, collapsed, and fatally hit his head. His death is widely attributed to steroid use but no concrete evidence has been brought forward to verify that.

Stacey Bentley

              The first and only woman bodybuilder on our list, Stacey was a household name at her prime. She died in 2019 and the cause of her death is not clear. A one-time Franc Zero Pro champion, Stacey was also ranked 4th in IFBB Women’s World Bodybuilding Championships. Although she did not die while active in bodybuilding, she is remembered as one of the few women that had a soft spot for fitness. She retired and became a nurse before meeting her death.

Related Article:: 10 Bodybuilders on Instagram you Need to Follow

Anthony D’Arezzo

              D’Arezzo had a profile rich in many things including a professional trainer and active competitor. As in the case of many other deceased bodybuilders, the 44-year old's heart was tiring. It was only a matter of time before it ceased all biological operations and that time came in 2002. An autopsy performed by doctors revealed that he died from heart failure. He was previously diagnosed with congenital heart disease. It is not known whether D’Arezzo was using illegal steroids but it is a theory worth pursuing to avoid such tragedies in the future.



Sean Harris

           Last on our list is a legend who defied all the odds to win the 2015 IFBB North American Championships. Harris died in 2017 when lost control of the car he was driving resulting in an accident that claimed his life. Apart from the title mentioned, Harris also competed and won the over-35 heavyweight championships, a title that earned him pro status. Were it not for the cruel hand of death, Sean Harris could still be around to entertain us.


         Death in the line of duty is not new in bodybuilding. Many premature deaths of promising bodybuilders should be a wake-up call to bodybuilders to be careful. They should be wary of the things they consume and generally, the kind of lifestyle they lead. Most importantly, choose your steroid products carefully to avoid landing on counterfeit ones. Meanwhile, visit our shop for quality, safe, and potent steroid products for all your bodybuilding needs. Again, may all those bodybuilders who perished before fulfilling their dreams continue resting in peace.

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