Colin Congo finds it “appalling” and “scary” how many young bodybuilders are dying and believes drug use cannot be discounted.

Colin Congo is a pro natural bodybuilder in the INBA/PNBA league. As such, he is subject to drug tests for any pro show that he wants to compete in. He finds this important, not only for the integrity of the sport but also for the health of its athletes. Congo has been paying attention to the recent deaths in bodybuilding as a whole and is worried about the trend he’s seeing. While we don’t know the cause of death for many of these athletes – Congo thinks drug use cannot be discounted from the conversation. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Colin Congo explains why it is naive to assume there is no relation between drug use in bodybuilding and the tend of young deaths in the sport.

It is important to note the difference between correlation and coincidence. Just because something seems to be happening suddenly doesn’t mean they are all related. This distinction seems to be at the core of the recent deaths we have been seeing in pro bodybuilding. Many athletes have recent passed at a much too soon age. Some see this as a warning sign of health issues in the sport. Others point out that, without a real cause of death announced in any of these cases, these deaths could be a very tragic coincidence.

In either case, it’s important for all leagues to take this moment seriously. Even if this does turn out to be a coincidence – it’s most important to know this for sure to avoid potential more lives lost in the future. That’s why during our recent conversation with natural bodybuilder Colin Congo, we asked for his thoughts on the string of recent deaths and controversy surrounding them.

Colin Congo, being a natural bodybuilder, certainly has a bias against drug use in the sport (It should also be noted that other pro leagues do not endorse drug use either – but simply do not provide testing). When asked if he thinks that drug use in pro bodybuilding is responsible for young deaths – Congo believed it is very likely this is the case.

“I think we’d be naive to think that there’s no relationship,” Colin Congo states in our interview. He continues:

“I mean, we are talking about folks that, especially the younger folks right? That are like, man, heart issues in their 20s? Yeah, I mean, there are people with heart issues that die in their twenties. But at the number that we see them in the bodybuilding world, in our sport, it’s appalling and it is scary.”


Colin Congo understands that studies would need to be done and hard facts to absolutely prove it. But he also thinks without the facts, it would be foolish to completely discount drug use as a cause completely. He also takes a moment to point out that natural bodybuilding leagues don’t seem to have these kinds of young tragic deaths happen. He mentions this specifically in relation to diuretic use in bodybuilding:

“It’s [diuretics] got guys going to the hospital routinely. You know, in the last couple of days pre-contest. The week of the show, you’re like, ‘Oh, he had to drop out because of this.’ And you’re like, man, you don’t see that with the natural guys I’ll be honest with you.”

Colin Congo goes on to say he understands the psychology of why bodybuilders would take risks and turn to drugs. When you are young and want to reach that next level – a person with championship goals will do whatever it takes to succeed. That’s why Congo likes drug tested leagues. Those regulations put a full stop on drugs being an option for success.

Do you agree with Colin Congo about drugs being related to pro bodybuilder deaths? Watch his Congo’s full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above and decide for yourself.

The GI Team is here to provide top news and original content for the new generation. The generation of bodybuilders who are pushing the sport to bigger and better places. Join The Movement. Become a part of Generation Iron!