The Sun reports that fellow bodybuilders and fans spoke of their shock amid previously unconfirmed reports Piana had died after spending more than two weeks in a coma following a possible overdose.
Writing on Instagram 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'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. We had our ups and downs but we sure had an awesome time in each other's presence along with us fighting through some dark times together. You truly touched many people's heart and helped so many!!! It inspired me in many ways to see the huge impact you had on people all over the world. Not many people know that me and him are STILL legally married till this day despite all rumors. I have NOTHING to gain by saying that but want everyone to know the truth. I know that people say stuff on social media but I truly am not the "bad" person people think I am. I actually saved Rich's life 1 time before, glad I was there for him at that time. 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. #GoneButNeverForgotten #RichPiana #RIP ...Read more