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Bodybuilders dying as coaches, judges encourage extreme measures: U.S. media

New York, U.S. | Xinhua | Bodybuilders around the world are risking their lives and sometimes dying for the sport they love because of extreme measures that are encouraged by coaches, rewarded by judges and ignored by leaders of the industry, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

A review of hundreds of documents including medical and autopsy records, police reports, 911 calls, emails and text messages, along with interviews with more than 70 people, reveals “the devastating consequences of a sport that for years has operated under the halo of health and fitness,” said the report.

Several of the industry’s top coaches, without formal training or medical licenses, supplied their clients with illegal steroids or other illicit substances; instructed them on dosages for using performance-enhancing drugs; or advised athletes not to seek medical care before competitions, The Post found.

“Unlike other professional sports, the IFBB Pro League, the largest professional bodybuilding federation in the United States, does not routinely test athletes for steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs,” said the report.

Nearly all steroids are illegal without a prescription in the United States, but bodybuilders say they are easily obtained and widely used by competitors, it added.

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