|An alternative explanation concerning the demise of one of bodybuilding’s greatest champions.|
Andreas Münzer: The Untold Story
By: David Robson
On March 14, 1996, the bodybuilding world awoke to the devastating news that one of its own had died under the most tragic of circumstances. When news broke of bodybuilding great Andreas Münzer’s untimely death, yet another shadow of doubt was cast over competitive bodybuilding, another pounding blow was delivered squarely between the eyes of a sport that had received much criticism regarding its alleged close association with the dangerous and abusive use, by its athletes, of anabolic steroids and related “bodybuilding” drugs.
Andreas’ death confirmed in the minds of many skeptics the belief that professional bodybuilding, and by implication the general bodybuilding population, was fraught with drug abuse, that those who trained with weights specifically to build their bodies were on a suicide mission of self-destruction by virtue of the consumption of “drugs” required to complete the transformation process.
Whatever the case, with Andreas’ death any integrity bodybuilding had had again been significantly compromised, adding to its perpetual corrosion due to an ongoing trial by media that continues to this day.
Andreas, who turned professional with his heavyweight victory at the 1989 IFBB World Amateur Games, was widely regarded as bodybuilding’s nicest, most sincere champion. To this author’s knowledge not a bad word had, or has ever been said about him.
Andreas was also an unassuming, quite, humble, hard working competitor, who constantly strove for perfection, as exemplified by his unsurpassed muscular definition and outstandingly proportionate and massive physique. A true fan favorite, Andreas captivated international audiences with his one of a kind body, fully loaded with 240 pounds of cut to shreds muscle, complete with 21-inch arms ultra-striated chest and shoulders.
Since his pro debut in 1989 – at the IFBB Mr. Olympia – Andreas maintained an exhaustive schedule, competing every year until his death in’96. Typical for Andreas was his appearance at many bodybuilding contests in one season, which necessitated strict adherence to a low calorie diet and massive quantities of bodybuilding drugs. Was this due to a personal desire to capture a major title, or were there other reasons prompting his apparent need, or ‘desire’, to stay in top shape all year round?
An admirer of Arnold Schwarzenegger, a man with whom he shared Styrian heritage, and like all professional bodybuilders wanting to push themselves to the top in a business that only rewards the best competitors, the Austrian Andreas did whatever it took to be at his best, and consumed bodybuilding drugs such as anabolic steroids, diuretics, growth hormone and insulin to get the job done in the most effective manner possible.
Competing in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic bodybuilding event six times consecutively strongly suggested that this was the contest Andreas was gunning for. Indeed, with each passing year he came closer to the attainment of this title (9th place in 1991 and 4th place in 1995). 1996 would be his last attempt.
As it often the case, if you pay the price, you must accept the consequences. And so it was with Andreas. After several days in which he endured intense stomach pains, following his final contest, the 1996 San Jose Invitational, Andreas was finally admitted to hospital on the morning of March 13, 1996. That evening, doctors decided to operate to stop the profuse bleeding of Andreas’ stomach that had progressed throughout the day, and had, according to some reports, been occurring consistently the final 30 hours of his life. Shortly afterward, his liver and kidneys failed. The 30-year-old bodybuilding legend passed away the following morning – March 14 – after allegedly refusing a blood transfusion.
Since Andreas’ death, many have speculated on exactly how he died. It is clear bodybuilding drugs were a factor, but is this the whole story? And why did Andreas die when so many of his peers continued to compete – some even to this day – with apparent impunity? Is Andreas a victim of bad luck, self-imposed adherence to dangerous levels of anabolic drugs or did outside forces conspire, unwittingly or otherwise, to bring him down?
The following interview with a man who was as close as any to the bodybuilding world Andreas inhabited provides an alternative explanation for the mysterious death of one of bodybuilding’s more endearing champions.
It is hoped that this interview account will help to direct the finger of accusation away from Andreas’ supposed fatalistic lifestyle and onto the circumstances governing his life as a whole. Was Andreas a drug-crazed steroid monster as was reported by various media? Did he have a death wish? Did he seek to bow out a champion, health consequences be dammed? Or was he pushed?
While not professing to be a definitive documentation and explanation of Andreas’ lifestyle and subsequent death, this article will endeavor to unravel some of the mystery surrounding a topic that has, since its first developments, been subject to much speculation, innuendo and rumor.
[Q]: Nasser. I understand you frequently spoke with Andreas Münzer over the years. You also have inside information on his bodybuilding background. Please tell me what you know. Give me your side of the story.
Andreas Münzer was one of the nicest, most sincere professional bodybuilders to have ever competed as a pro and he had the physique to do some real damage – a true fan favorite. But he was taken advantage of and this, in my opinion, finally cost him his life. As most of us know, Andreas trained in Germany, his home country. The owner of the gym where Münzer trained and was employed as a trainer was The Gravedigger. The Gravedigger is the guy who is responsible for Europe’s biggest muscle magazine, the “Sportrevue”, which is what I considered to be a Bavarian-style farmer bodybuilding magazine: it did not focus on many other German events and big international events at that time. The Gravedigger is, or at least was, the IFBB vice president for Europe. He is an angry, hostile, dictatorial old Bavarian conservative with an over-proportioned watermelon head and a complete Nazi mentality and world vision.
In Andreas’ case, I hold The Gravedigger to a very high degree responsible for his death. The Gravedigger once had the poor guy painting the walls of his gym until the early morning hours, despite the fact that Münzer had to fly out to a pro show that morning. He also always wanted to have Münzer in contest shape: in the off-season as well as pre contest. So Münzer had to not only diet (as he “liked doing” as The Gravedigger claimed) but he also had to consume pre-contest drugs all year round, on a regular basis. The Gravedigger did not care for Andreas’ health situation; he only cared for Münzer in regard to his being the figurehead of that “Leistungszentru Gravedigger “. In other words, Andreas as the employed one had to bite his teeth and tongue and he had to diet in combination with permanently consuming pre-contest drugs in order to keep his job. It was said that The Gravedigger forbade Münzer to go to the doctor regularly because Andreas was “not supposed to leave the gym”. Also The Gravedigger, as one of Europe’s main IFBB guys, arranged many guest posing appearances for Andreas. The Gravedigger could interfere with people and not recommend Andreas for guest posing spots if he wanted to do so. Münzer neglected regular medical checkups because of the pressure The Gravedigger had put him under.
The IFBB Olympian Münzer, originally from Austria, was celebrated by the German bodybuilding community as German when he was successful in shows, and when he was in hard condition while guest posing, but when he was less successful at shows he was “just the Austrian”, basically regarded as a second-class human. These statements are based on my personal experience. I am also a good friend of his former girlfriend Elizabeth Schwarz, who for many years lived with him. Elizabeth is a very attractive feminine looking girl who on three occasions finished in second place at the Amateur Bodybuilding World Championships. Her cooking skills and personality are also fantastic.
Andreas died in March of 1996, after he came 6th at the Arnold Classic and 7th in the San Jose pro show (a week after the Arnold). On the flight back to Munich, Germany, Andreas began bleeding internally. He already had an ulcer from years back but had not gone to the doctor for a while. This and the combination of the drugs he had taken in order to get ready for the show cost him his life. When he was finally hospitalized in Munich, upon arrival from his transatlantic flight, it was already too late for him to receive proper help. Münzer did not die from steroids: you cannot overdose on steroids. You can, however, overdose on recreational drugs, diuretics and insulin. Nevertheless, in my view, The Gravedigger is Andreas Münzer’s primary gravedigger. I can only repeat and say: “Gravedigger, Du hast Andreas Münzer auf dem Gewissen, Du hast Ihn umgebracht (Gravedigger, you have Andreas Münzer on your conscience, you killed him).
[Q]: Did you ever train at Andreas’ gym?
No. At age 19 I began training at one of the best bodybuilding gyms in Southern Germany, the “Sporting” in Stuttgart. At this very well known gym at that time, many different German national amateurs and pros worked out off and on (including Anja Albrecht and Jusup Wilcosz) and also certain IFBB pros came from time to time. I remember seeing back then guys like former IFBB pro John Brown.
This gym was basically the nemesis of the “Leistungszentrum Gravedigger ” in Munich, Bavaria where many other German amateurs and also IFBB pro’s like Peter Hensel, Andreas Münzer (like before also his country man Arnold Schwarzenegger; both even from the same Austrian state of Steiermark) had worked out.
I met Andreas in 1993 in Paris at the French IFBB pro show and a week later in Nuremberg, Bavaria, at the German IFBB pro show. I beat him twice (in both events) because I was just more ripped than even Andreas. This was the first two times I ever qualified for the Olympia. Münzer was a very calm guy. He was nice, polite and friendly. He was a hard working bodybuilder who did not complain about anything. In later years, Münzer had hardness to his body that was barely achieved by anyone in the world of pro bodybuilding. He was so ripped he, to me, looked like a reptile. He was in some shows so hard that if this were the decisive criterion for winning, he would have been Mr. Olympia. It got to a point where I could not match his hardness. In 1994 I visited him in Munich at his work place, at his gym where he was a trainer. And he was eating clean day in and day out. He was always more than ready for a guest posing. And off-season he looked harder than 80 percent of today’s pros on the day of their show. He was extremely dedicated to his profession as an IFBB pro. I personally think that Andreas was too deprived from fats and calories in the off-season so he must have suffered for much of his bodybuilding life.
I have tremendous respect for Muenzer as an athlete and as a man. I only saw him eating fatty foods in 1993 after my former wife and I took him to lunch on the Sunday after the Paris pro show. We had some salmon in fatty sauce and he had just one cheat hamburger and continued eating chicken breast and rice. His biggest protein source was, besides chicken breast, turkey, and lean fish, the daily egg whites. Of course I did continue with my diet as well (for the German Grand Prix, seven days later) but I did not stop at one hamburger the day after that show. Yes Andreas was also a huge believer in “tons” of egg whites and he also loved artificial liquid sweeteners (those the equivalent of “equal” and “splenda” used widely in the US). This was the case during off-season and pre-contest, which again was for Andreas was almost one and the same.
[Q]: Did you ever talk with Andreas about his drug intake?
I never did specifically talk with Andreas about drugs. He only told me once that Paul Dillett had complained to him that his butt was always hurting so much from all these shots he (Paul) was taking to get ready for the shows. I also want to make it clear here that the media in general and the German media in particular portrayed Andreas Münzer as the absolutely “insane freak” when it came to his consumption of steroids. I do not know about Andreas’ drug intake but it does not mean that the harder you are and/or the bigger you are, the more drugs you should or must take. There is no direct correlation or a general consensus among experts to reach these kinds of assumptions. But a lot of people in general, but also bodybuilding folk, have a tendency to think this way. Once again, Andreas died and The Gravedigger allowed the German media to verbally destroy Münzer’s legacy and achievements as an extremely dedicated professional bodybuilder. The Gravedigger did nothing to defend the dead Münzer from all this patently wrong media slander and the completely inaccurate accusations leveled at him. The unthankful and backstabbing The Gravedigger was actually riding at the top wave of the anti-Münzer propaganda. The Gravedigger wanted to come out as the fine and innocent IFBB gentleman with a white vest and collar. Shame on you Gravedigger!
Once Peter Hensel, IFBB pro and Olympian as well, originally from former East Germany, who defected from the former communist state “GDR”, was sitting in The Gravedigger office chair, waiting for The Gravedigger. The Gravedigger showed up late and explained that his wife had passed away (that day). Hensel simply said: “Scheisse Mann, musste dass denn gerade heute passieren? Ich wollte doch mit Dir zum Kegeln gehen. Mist.” Translated as: Shit man, why did this just have to happen today? I wanted to go bowling with you. Shit.” Hensel was definitely less sensitive compared with Münzer and The Gravedigger was way more aggressive with Münzer.
[Q]: Of course what you have just discussed about The Gravedigger is based on your personal experiences. Did Andreas Münzer tell you anything about The Gravedigger that would support what you have just said?
Andreas very seldom went into detail criticizing people. Andreas was also a non-confrontational person. But in regard to, The Gravedigger I do remember clearly when “Gravedigger’s ” name once came up in the course of general conversation; Andreas Münzer mentioned him, referring to him as a “merciless slave chaser (in German: “gnadenloser Sklaventreiber”) and an “arrogant user” (“arroganter Ausnuetzer”). At that time I told Andreas that I thought The Gravedigger was a man without conscience who wanted to use people for his own fame. The Gravedigger wanted to originally be a bodybuilder but obviously he never had the body for it. Personally I did always think that The Gravedigger looked like a pervert. And if I am really honest with my feelings, I always visualized The Gravedigger as being a molester. That’s the impression he made on me.
But one thing Andreas did have to his advantage: he was happy to work out in such a great gym as he did (On one level of the gym regular gym members used to work out, and on the other level more progressed, competitive bodybuilders worked out). However, Andreas was not happy with the low pay and the excessive hours and overtime he had to do. As precise and diligent as Münzer was with his body, he was as diligent at his work place. With Andreas, The Gravedigger had the perfect working machine. Otherwise Andreas did not want to give chubby The Gravedigger too much attention. And he did not bring the subject of the abuser The Gravedigger up again. Münzer was not into spoiling his days with negativity.
[Q]: Andreas was always known as one of the more unassuming pros, a guy who nobody said anything bad about. Did you ever see anything that might contradict this line of thinking?
In late 2001, I guest-posed in Munich, Germany, at the German amateur show, which was also the qualifier for the German team to compete at the Amateur World Championships in Yangon, Myanmar. At this contest I again met Elisabeth Schwarz. We talked about previous happenings in the world of bodybuilding. A week later we met again and I asked her if Münzer had anger issues in general or towards her in particular, when dieting, especially since they were dieting together – her for IFBB amateur shows and he for his IFBB pro shows. “No, not at all” she told me. She also added that she was actually the one who was loud if anyone was, whether it was on or off their respective diets. I have never heard or personally seen any rage or verbal aggression directly concerning Andreas. Have never even heard hearsay about that.
Andreas Münzer was, as most of us know by now, a very quiet and laid-back character. He, for most of the time, let his body do the talking. I remember on one IFBB Grand Prix in Europe in the early 90s, in which Aaron Baker, Cormier, I and also Andy Münzer, among others, competed. Wayne DeMilia, the chairman of the IFBB pro division at that time and also being the kindergarten leader of the IFBB pro bodybuilders in Europe during the European Tour, had counted all the competitors twice “correctly” in the bus, which was parked in front of the local hotel where the contestants were staying. So the count was complete and the bus took off to the contest auditorium. After a couple of miles, I – as the only one – realized that Andy was not on the bus. I immediately notified Wayne about this. He ordered the bus driver to return “to get Münzer” who had taken an afternoon nap and who was still asleep when we arrived to collect him. Münzer’s conduct, when he entered the waiting bus, was not panicky or worried at all. “Er war die Ruhe selbst” (translated from German into English: “He was the calmness in person”).
[Q]: Not the kind of behavior befitting a drug monster.
One thing I do know for a fact is that the “super high doses” of drugs Andreas Münzer allegedly took are not true. I know so because I am not comparing it with someone who is only thought to take high amounts of anabolic steroids but with what I have seen from guys like Mike Francois, Roland Cziurlok, Milos, Sonny, and up to guys like Shaun Davies and the Kovacs Monster. I saw Andreas’ medical journals. When I began dating Elizabeth in late 2001 she also told me all about what he was taking. Again, the German media totally exaggerated Andreas’ so-called “monstrous steroid consumption” as they phrased it. A regular Mr. USA bodybuilding class winner (still amateur) takes much more, as I have witnessed. By the way, the German media speculated that “Nasser El Sonbaty” would be the next dead German bodybuilder. I was nicknamed “the walking pharmacy” – pure irresponsible speculation. It would be like me saying that guys like Cutler, Coleman and Yates, because of their massive size, and Mr. Olympia status, took so many anabolic steroids and other guys who placed lower or never won any pro show took very little.
When I guest posed in Vancouver, Canada, at the end of 1996, with the Zebra (Flex Wheeler) and Ronnie, I heard that Andreas Münzer had been arrested and detained in Vancouver after he had flown in for the same reason (to guest pose – a year before me). Customs had found anabolic steroids on him, and bail was posted. But hours later the Canadian promoter, Sergio B, bailed Andreas. Sergio did not want to have his famous bodybuilding show running without the announced guest poser. Münzer was lucky in that when he was detained in Vancouver, B. C., Canada that he had a guy like Sergio B. to help him out, which the Japanese IFBB pro and Olympian Hidetada Yamagashi did not have, when he was arrested at the LAX (Los Angeles, CA) airport on 8/12/2007. Hidetada also remained in custody for many weeks because no one seemed to be interested and willing to take care of the – as far as I remember – almost $ 200,000.00 US Dollar bail of his (you must bring up 10% of that amount to be released). Hidetada’s “great friend” Milos, who had waited at the airport for his arrival (Hide flew in from Japan) did not do one thing for him. Milos dropped Hide like a hot potato; further proof of the great friendship offered by the DCM.
One guy I know and who was before arrested by the DEA for such a thing, told me “if you do such things” always have $20,000.00 to $ 25,000.00 US Dollars ready, to either bail yourself out or to pay a lawyer an advance. I believe Hide did not foresee the possible consequences of his actions in this situation. Mostly, under such circumstances, all friends, and especially all bodybuilding friends (brothers in iron) – just disappear. There is a very good German proverb that could apply here: ” In der Not sind alle Freunde tot (in misery/in need, all friends are dead). Münzer was lucky to be bailed out but he was not very lucky on the other side because not long after that he was dead.
Q: You say you saw Andreas’ “medical” journals. To your recollection, what did these journals say?
I would not like to go into detail about Münzer’s drug intake. But I can definitely say, that what I have seen, read and memorized is basically the same “things” most of other champions/guys take; there were just more water-based drugs and less “heavy” stuff such as high testosterone doses like Cypionate, Enanthate, Omnadren, Sustanon and Anadrol 50. If I thought or had the impression that Münzer was a high-dose anabolic user, I would not have a problem saying so. Again, I personally would say that he was not in the high range as like a Kovacs syndrome, an Oxycontin Palumbo or a Milos drug dose guy.
[Q]: To your knowledge, what drugs contributed to Andreas’ deteriorating-health?
I do not think that there is ever one sole reason as to why someone died. Mostly “they”, the medical authorities, do give you one “big reason” but say that it is just a syndrome, an accumulation of personal dispositions, natural deterioration, a combination of facts we even do not know about. How does global warming and pollution in the ocean affect us, our food chain, the effect of water (which is never 100% clean, just “cleaned”), the consumption of different drugs over the years, and I’m not just talking about bodybuilding related drugs here? There is so much speculation but non-substantive proof that Andreas died of this or that specific drug or drug combo. Just food deprivation, deprivation of serotonin levels can take a toll on anyone. Recently I read that in Japan there is an accumulation/a phenomenon where more and more white-collar-people are dying of intense work hours, like 80 to 100 hours per week. So, is this related to drugs, food, sleep, a chemical imbalance in the brain or body, lack of social contact or is it “just” stress? So I will then ask: “Can a bodybuilder also die of stress?” And if not, why not?
[Q]: You also speak of pre contest drugs Andreas was permanently on. What were these drugs and how did they, in your view, affect him?
I do not believe that is healthy for the body to take, over long periods of time, drugs including prescribed medicines and antibiotics, or even vitamins or anything in that direction. Even an excessive, frequent and long duration intake of Vitamin C, for example, can be damaging for some people in the long run. But pre-contest bodybuilding drugs like water based varieties – dissolved in water – like Winstrol for instance, does stay in the system for shorter periods. And the reason why many people use injectable Winstrol, like Andreas did in off-season, all year around, is that the injectable version, which is more popular than the oral version, does not easily convert into estrogen hormones. It also keeps the water retention to a minimum. Winstrol produces good muscle gains and keeps bodybuilders who stick to a cleaner diet in good shape. Other bodybuilding drugs, next to Winstrol, which have the same non-aromatizing effect and barely retain much water, are drugs like Parabolan, Equipoise, Masteron, and in combination with these injectables is the injectable Primobolan, which keeps water retention very, very low.
Also there is a common use of Primobolin acetate tablets (from the Schering company), which also burn body fat among bodybuilders, or simply for the guys who love the hard “surfer dude look” and Oxandrolone tabs. Again, all these drugs taken for shorter periods of time do not create any emergencies. But using all of these drugs for longer periods of time – like over many, many months with short breaks over many years – causes a negative balance of hormones in the body. Adding calorie reduced diets to this with contests and guest-posing appearances where you want to look great is definitely not the smartest thing to do. And additionally adding thyroid hormone, GH, IGF 1 and Insulin can result in hormonal chaos within the system. All these things taken can have individually different side effects. Some people also have, for instance, an ulcer problem or a pancreas problem that they had not been (clearly) aware of, so things can get out of control, especially when not having regular medical check-ups by QUALIFIED doctors.
But in contrast, I have read and seen the “over-dosages” of drugs Andreas took, how he had so many drug dealers getting drugs from him, how irresponsible he was in most areas of his life, how obsessed his was with his “steel body” – all written and fabricated by the extremely sensation-hungry and anti-bodybuilding German media. The German media, even relatively accurate magazines like “Der Spiegel”, a politics and society magazine, tore Münzer into pieces and portrayed him as the ultimate monster that was willing to die for his “artificial steroid and drug-induced beauty”. The mirror (Der Spiegel) is a German weekly magazine, published in Hamburg. It is one of Europe’s largest and most influential weekly magazines with a circulation of more than one million per weekend; other, more truth related magazines, stepped down to an almost unprecedented low level and acted like the very famous, but also very cheap (financially and morally), German “sex, gossip and some news magazines”, as I would describe them. “Die Bildzeitung” (the picture magazine) is tabloid-style and broadsheet in size. It is the best-selling newspaper in Europe and has the seventh-largest circulation worldwide. The Bildzeitung’s closest English-language stylistic and journalistic equivalent is often considered to be “The Sun” in the UK – the second highest selling European tabloid newspaper.
Münzer was also kind of maliciously pictured in that way, to a degree, where you got the impression that he was belonging to a kind of body sect, which was worshipping body-enhancing drugs with the alliance of the devil. Münzer’s achievements on the contest stage – according to the raging German media – were also solely based on drug use. In that same context, a picture in one of the German magazines of me was posted with the remark that I, Nasser, would be the next to die. Bodybuilding in Germany and Andreas’ family and friends took a devastating hit with the sensation-craving German media exploitation of Andreas’ death. Since Andreas’ death, so much untruth and the most absurd rumors have been, and are still circulating, about “Andy” as he was also called. The German bodybuilding media is in general and in particular extremely anti-bodybuilding. Also California’s governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is constantly mocked and ridiculed in the German media because of his bodybuilding past. But The Gravedigger kisses Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ass regularly but distanced himself completely from Münzer. Münzer’s “friend” The Gravedigger does not want to have anything to do with Münzer any more.
[Q]: Andreas Münzer dropped in his placements from the year 1995 to 1996. Did you notice his deteriorating state?
I would not necessarily say that Andreas deteriorated that drastically in this time frame because it is just a period of a year or two. But the general deterioration applies to most people gradually, including Münzer, Arnold, Bannout, Yates and others along with myself. We could establish the thesis in Münzer’s case that his body stopped slowly but surely responding less to drugs and diets. But we could also say that he got sick (er). Or we could say that he lost his “fire” – which I do not think. Personally I would say that Münzer, because of his hardness in the off-season, could not add too much more hardness in the pre-contest phase because off-season and pre-contest was basically the same for him. I think further that even from a certain point with harder workouts and more workouts, different training techniques and even more “discipline and determination” Andreas could not achieve much more. He was at his physical max when he passed away. And I also believe that his body’s response to drugs and diets was not as good as in previous years. Most likely his body was health-wise declining at a much earlier stage, but Münzer, with his extremely strong will, forced and pushed his body despite discomfort and agonizing pain – which most internet warriors like most of the fat, obese, lazy, jealous, ugly, childish and goal-less and heavily oblivious big parts of the get bigger crowd and losers from other “bodybuilding” sites never experience.
Here again it is The Gravedigger who carries primary guilt and fault to expect from Münzer the almost impossible – to be hard and ripped all year round. A human, even if he is great like Münzer was, is still not a machine. And even machines have their breakdowns. But I would also secondarily like to blame guys like Jim Manion and other users in the judging panel to expect athletes to be year in and year out in top shape. And top shape means next to a having a great tan, great posing and smile also big ass kissing towards them and very much the use of all kinds, all sorts and mega-amounts of drugs – while Manion and company indulge in lavish festivities, fatty food and alcohol. And these people are those who are talking about deteriorating shapes of athletes because they want them to step as frequently as humanly possibly onstage to generate more money for them. Manion would never expect his son JM to become a body builder. Hell no. He does not want his son to become a bodybuilding fatality like Don Long, Mike Morris, Mike Dragna, Kenny Wheeler and Tom Prince (just mentioning some pros, not mentioning the many more including countless amateurs who got sick because of the demands of the “leaders” like Manion and company).
Wayne DeMilia would also not expect or want his son Marcellus to become a bodybuilder either. But again, these users are, in the end, making fun and cracking jokes about people who show up in poorer shape and condition because of those competitors’ physical inability to arrive in perfect shape each time. It is impossible to peak perfectly multiple times throughout the year. There are too may shows in the IFBB pro ranks which pay very poorly. But the bodybuilders are treated almost like racehorses. When a racehorse breaks a foot or a leg, then it is no longer profitable. It is shot right away. Bodybuilders do not get shot with guns (with exceptions like Ray McNeill) but get shot with needles. And in many cases you have to just wait for too many shots over extended periods of time to cause a casualty or these guys just drop out because of fear of more health issues, or they are so deteriorated from being used for too long without getting the proper reimbursement, which is often “only” a fair placement. And then everyone, including the so concerned and responsible freaks in the IFBB suits, asks: “why did this happen to Andreas, why does Wheeler need a new kidney?”
Either they (the bodybuilders) comply with the demands to look great (which means brutal diets and regular drug intake) in order to make money, or they deteriorate (which can be extreme after several contest years, combined with injuries and a general shutdown of their abused systems) or they just get out of the sport, which is lead by the aforementioned users, abusers and manipulators. And then, after so many shows the “men in charge” – the despotism judging clique acts all surprised by incidents “involving the drug monsters” like Münzer, and many others. But the show must go on as Manion and The Gravedigger would say.
Classic bodybuilding quote:
“There are too may shows in the IFBB pro ranks which pay very poorly. But the bodybuilders are treated almost like racehorses. When a racehorse breaks a foot or a leg, then it is no longer profitable. It is shot right away. Bodybuilders do not get shot with guns but get shot with needles.” Nasser El Sonbaty on the reality facing pro bodybuilders.
[Q]: Did anyone warn Andreas to taper back on his dosage of drugs or take it easier with his diet?
There are always people who warn others. But I personally believe that most of these people – with very rare exceptions like family, very close friends and sometimes a partner – are just talk. They like to hear themselves talking. Andreas’ parents, his extended family and his former partner Elizabeth, all of whom he lived with, were Andy’s biggest and most loyal supporters. I personally do not believe that people around Andreas were really concerned about him, notwithstanding the mentioned exceptions. Most people around him wanted to feed of him. Feed of his positive energy and positive attitude. They wanted to suck out his workout knowledge and his “drug program”. Most people are simply users. I would say that 95% of all people are users, abusers and takers in one form or the other.
Fake friends, fake buddies and insincere workout partners (who wanted the most and the best for themselves by teaming up with Andy) surrounded Andreas, along with his friend “The Gravedigger”, who just “wanted the best for him”. The Gravedigger did not treat him as he wanted and or wants himself (The Gravedigger) to be treated. The Gravedigger took advantage of him (Andreas) to promote himself, his ” Sportrevue “, and was, by having Münzer, drawing and adding more members and clients to the gym. Also if Münzer had been a US champion and not just a “ripped European”, Manion would have portrayed him as the “most outstanding ripped specimen” in human history. Münzer would be the incarnation of American determination and the rebirth of American spirit. Münzer would be the avant-garde of a new “hard” elite group of US bodybuilders. I am convinced that if Münzer always had, for example, an English sounding name like “Bob Fye” or “Steve Board”, that his career would have been, in the US, crowned by much more success. If a dumb person now says: “but Arnold was also Austrian”, I can only say: “Yes you idiot, but Arnold was the man in the ‘70s and Joe had, back then, the ultimate say in bodybuilding. Münzer, who came through the ranks in the ‘90s, did not have the outgoing charisma and “I want everything” attitude Arnold had. I also remember that Münzer was supposed to receive a Weider contract from Joe the year he passed away. But things developed in another direction.
The Gravedigger was prejudiced towards Münzer because he was Austrian and so prejudiced too was Manion, the small town person who is prejudiced towards everything that is not “Philly”-related or not English/American related or connected. Also Manion does not like Arnold, as he told me and he (Manion) does not even like California. Additionally, Manion personally always favors East Coast bodybuilders over West Coast bodybuilders. And his “power base” is for the biggest part established on the allegiance of mostly East Coast IFBB pro judges. Let’s see how the 2008 Olympia results will go this year, “correctly adjusted” (manipulated) by the Manion judging panel!
[Q]: Thank you for your honesty and candor Nasser. Do you have any concluding thoughts on the final days of Andreas Münzer?
According to Elizabeth Schwarz, Andreas’ former partner, Andreas – as she told me – indeed started bleeding internally after his last contest, the San Jose Pro show in 1996. He was also supposedly internally bleeding for the remaining 30 hours of his life (including on the transcontinental flight and the transatlantic flight). He was in excruciating pain. After landing in Munich, Germany, he was immediately rushed to the hospital but during surgery he was pronounced dead. The help came too late. It is not true that he refused a blood transfusion as some people have reported. Further, the rumor circulated that the cause of his bleeding was his use of the oral drug “Cytadren” (Aminoglutehimide) which is by the way a non-steroid.
This article is an alternative viewpoint on the death and life events of Andreas Münzer, fully intended to provoke thought, entertain and generate debate. It is not a conclusive analysis.