by Craig Titus
Do you think the early deaths of Luke Wood, Art Artwood and Matt DuVall, can be linked to the use of performance enhancing drugs?
When you say use of performance enhancing drugs, you’re referring to the abuse of steroids, growth, hormone, insulin and plasma expanders. In the sport of bodybuilding, the team PEDs is a nice way of saying an athlete is using inordinate amounts of anabolic steroids and HGH I suppose bodybuilders in general are much more comfortable suppose bodybuilders in general are much more comfortable using PEDs, as if the term some how makes them legal or curtails the possibility of heart failure or Health problems. Like Wood, Art Artwood and Matt DuVall are just three of a lung list of bodybuilders that have died way too early in life. Let’s not forget about Nassar Elsombaty who also recently passed away from heart failure. At only 48 years old. The list of bodybuilders that die from heart attacks is quite extensive but only a fraction of their deaths are published.
For Example…Tervor Smith was found on his kitchen floor, his cause of death was apparently heart failure, and he was in his 30s. Trevor was Matt DuVall’s training partner while living in Las Vegas and also consulted both myself and Greg Kovacs in the use of PEDs, including the application of plasma expanders. Then you have bodybuilders as such Mike Matarazzo and Arnold himself who both fortunately survived open heart surgery. Do I believe using PEDs can cause sudden heart failure…NO. Do I believe that using in ordinate dosages of PEDs, including insulin and plasma expanders over long period of time can cause heart problems or even death…absolutely. Just to be fair, I’ll base my opinion upon the deaths of Luke Wood, Art Artwood, Matt DuVall, Nassar Elsombaty and Mike Matarazzo. I’m including Matarazzo obviously not because he died rather if he didn’t recognize symptoms of heart failure and undergone open heart surgery he would have. Now, I can’t with 100% certainty say that any of these five athletes suffered from any genetic dispositions causing heart failure. Nor Can I say that possibly life style choices such as using narcotics or alcohol caused their early demise. But, I can say with absolute certainty that five of these bodybuilders used ridiculous amounts of PEDs for many years. Now the health risks using PEDs are certainly amplified greatly if a bodybuilder is also using recreational drugs. That being said, I’ve partaken in many hours of hard partying with Matt DuVall over the years living in Las Vegas. At the same time, I know that Nassar, Atwood, and Matarazzo did not participate with the party crowd. In fact, all of which refused to attend any of my legendary IFBB or NPC after parties. Point is, the one thing that WOOD, Artwood, DuVall, Elsombaty and Matarazzo all had in common…is that they all used excessive amounts of PEDs(steroids, HGH, insulin, and Plasma expanders), period. Fact of the matter is, professional bodybuilders are very much aware of the health risks associated with the abuse of PEDs. Most or all pro’s clown play the health risks and throw caution to the wind…myself included…with their quest to be Mr. Olympia I use the word abuse because that’s precisely what Pro Bodybuilders do , they abuse PED use. You don’t see MLB baseball players or Athletes in other sports arenas dropping dead from heart failure at 40. PED use is prevalent in all professional sports, but PED abuse is not only prevalent in bodybuilding it is also necessary…there’s a huge difference. Don’t get me wrong, I was a advocate of using steroids, I knew the risks and I certainly threw caution to the wind, just like any other IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Currently does today. I’m Just planning out that when 4 Pro Bodybuilders all die from heart failure at a early age…it’s pretty hard to deny for one moment, they all had one thing in common…PED use. My father always said “the candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.”
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Craig Michael Titus was born in Wyandotte, Michigan on Jan 14, 1967. The eldest of Michael and Sandra Titus’ three children. In high school, Craig wrestled for his school team at 132lbs. After graduation, decided to put on some muscle via weight training. When Craig graduated from high school he was 5’6″ and 140lbs. By the age of 21, he was 5’9″ and 185lbs. Once he started weight training and seeing results, he was hooked. Craig’s first bodybuilding show was the 1988 Houston Bodybuilding Championships in which he won the Men’s Open middleweight class and the overall title.
2002 Mr. Olympia – 11th
2002 Night of Champions XIV – 5th
2002 Southwest Pro – 7th
2001 British Grand Prix – 9th
2001 Mr. Olympia – 12th
2001 Arnold Classic – 6th
2001 SAN FRANCISCO GRAND PRIX – 2nd
2001 IRONMAN PRO INVITATIONAL – 5th
2000 Toronto Pro – 1st
2000 Arnold Classic – 10th
2000 Night of Champions – 11th
2000 Ironman Pro Invitational – 8th
1996 NPC USA Championships — 1st Heavyweight and Overall
1995 NPC USA Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1994 NPC National Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1994 NPC USA Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1993 NPC USA Championships — 4th Heavyweight
1991 NPC Ironman/Ironmaiden — Overall
1990 NPC Tournament of Champions — 3rd Heavyweight
1990 NPC Western Cup — Overall
1989 NPC Houston Bodybuilding Championships — Overall