Home Physiological Lifestyle Post-Autopsy – How and why did bodybuilders Rich Piana & Dallas McCarver...

Post-Autopsy – How and why did bodybuilders Rich Piana & Dallas McCarver die


Premature death of thriving bodybuilders always comes as a shock. Naturally, everyone wonders: was it a drug? Was it a supplement? Was there too much protein or hormones? The role of these sad events is to make us aware of faulty diets and habits, of excesses and harmful ambitions. Regarding the deaths of Rich Piana and Dallas McCarver, the autopsy results are out and are quite concerning.

Dallas McCarver autopsy results

The IFBB professional ended his life at only 26 years of age with a cardiac malfunction, worsened by plaque buildup inside the arteries (atherosclerosis) and a thickened muscle in the left ventricle of the heart. In such conditions, pumping blood becomes much more laborious. However, McCarver’s diseases were also inherited, knowing that his family had similar conditions. Thus, the genetic predisposition had an important say. Additionally, the autopsy found the kidneys and the liver to be enlarged. One of the kidneys was hardened, the lungs heavy and the thyroid also showed some severe issues (carcinoma). What was known prior to the autopsy was a high level of cholesterol and aminotransferase, shortness of breath and chronic coughing. Also, the testosterone levels were very high. No steroids were found. The marijuana and caffeine traces played no role in his worsening condition or in his actual demise and were thus ruled out. In total, the autopsy report shows 6 conditions that proved to be fatal together: papillary thyroid carcinoma, severe cardiomegaly, heavy lungs, coronary artery atherosclerosis, hepatomegaly, nephrosclerosis and kidney hypertrophy.

Rich Piana autopsy findings

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According to the specialists who performed the autopsy, Rich Piana had even more health issues than McCarver. The main issues appear to be the lungs – swollen and filled with fluid. Also the abdomen stored excessive protein-rich liquid. The brain edema was added to the list, as well as necrotic brain tissue (dead cells), poor blood circulation to the brain and several issues with the kidneys. However, there is no known actual cause of death – it could simply be the association of all the mentioned problems. Piana constantly used various substances to improve his performance and at the same time suffered of heart disease (cardiomegaly). The toxicology tests were refused at the hospital and thus we do not have any data concerning that matter. Piana died at the age of 46 after a 2-week coma and, in spite of the many issues, the autopsy does not reveal any clear cause of death. Drug use perhaps had a serious involvement here, although unconfirmed, as there was no toxicology report. The specimens were discarded long before the death occurred. Hospitals habitually do this after 3 days. The anabolic steroids and the insulin Piana used are likely to have a significant contribution to his fatal problems.

Both bodybuilders faced severe malfunction and organ degradation, mostly due to diet and supplement/drug use in excess. It seems that the autopsies point at the cumulative harmful effect of several conditions, eventually leading to premature death. Rest in peace.

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