Fellow bodybuilders and fans had been spoken of their shock this morning amid previously unconfirmed reports Piana had died after spending more than two weeks in a coma following a possible overdose
Writing on Twitter Sara Piana said: “I’m in tears writing this that @1dayumay has just passed away. I can barely believe this… I am so saddened & heartbroken that he didn’t make it.
“I just want to say THANK YOU Rich for teaching me so much about life, whether it was the easy or the hard way.”
She added: “Rich, I hope you feel better now in heaven and that you’re up there healthy, smiling & telling everyone ‘how it is, being REAL & doing your thing’. Rest In Peace my dear husband.”
Fellow social media body building star and friend Bradley Martyn posted a picture of himself with 46-year-old workout champ Rich on Instagram with the message “Rest in peace”.
Neither Rich’s partner or company have confirmed his death but hundreds of tributes were earlier posted on social media as rumours swirled.
James Mooney, co-founder of Gunsmith Clothing posted a message on twitter reading: “Gone too soon brother. What a sad day, can’t even believe it’s true…truly heartbreaking.”