Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Death by Naposim

In December 2006 the Austrian press carried reports of a 24-year-old bodybuilder who did in hospital after taking the anabolic steroid Naposim. The Austrian doctors who tried to save the bodybuilder's life published an article in the Journal of Medical Biology.

Der Neue Grazer 06.Dez. 2006
The bodybuilder admitted himself to hospital after he had been experiencing difficult breathing for two days. The day before his admission he had also become dizzy and nauseous and had been vomiting.

The bodybuilder had an enlarged heart, but he had been born with this condition. What's more, his heart had always worked fine.

What was clearly not working properly was his liver – the result of steroid use, the researchers think. The bodybuilder also had serious pneumonia – the researchers later found the fungus Candida albicans in his lungs – and after a day in hospital his blood became infected by a micro-organism. The man went into septic shock, and this is what killed him in the end.

Death by Naposim
The doctors treated the bodybuilder with a cocktail of vasodilators, antibiotics and other medicines. But to no avail. "Despite aggressive treatment, the patient died of multisystem organ failure on the 4th day after admission", wrote the Austrians. Heart, lungs, liver and kidneys – all of the bodybuilder's organs shut down in response to the micro-organism in his blood.

When the doctors did a culture of the bodybuilder's blood, they discovered after four days what bacteria they were up against: Gordonia terrae. The bacteria, which is found in the soil and more and more often in hospitals, probably entered the bodybuilder's body when the doctors inserted tubes to treat him.

The bacteria should have been killed by the antibiotic that the doctors gave the bodybuilder. That the antibiotics did not save the man the doctors attribute to the man’s use of steroids. They had completely wrecked his immune system.

J Med Microbiol. 2007 Dec;56(Pt 12):1687-8.