Is Rob Riches a natural bodybuilder? The UKBFF (UK Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation) says no. In April 2013, Rob Riches entered the under 178cm Men’s Physique National Championship competition held in Leamington Spa, England. A clear favorite to win on the day, Rob was announced as the 1st place winner. Unfortunately for ‘Natty Riches’ it was later found he failed the drugs tests after testing positive for a mystery substance, this led to the title being stripped from him and awarded to Ryan Terry who previously placed second in the UKBFF Men’s Physique Championship.
An entire year later and UKBFF have not released any further information of why Rob Riches failed and I can only assume that this is most likely to minimize the damage to their federation, Robs reputation and whats left of natural bodybuilding.
When the bodybuilding and fitness community found out, many claimed Rob Riches was found to test positive for an anabolic oral steroid substance known as oxandrolone, but much better known as anavar. Oxandrolone like most other orals is 17-alkylated to avoid ingestion at the first pass of the liver. It is quite a weak compound and often used when cutting and to help ‘hardern’ muscles. One of anavars most notable features is that very little water weight is gained unlike some other orals such dbol. It should also be noted that like many other orals, it has a short half-life in the body (around 8-9 hours), which means within less than 24 hours of consumption it would have cleared your system. There are numerous other WADA banned compounds and unnatural compounds that either enter and leave your body within as little as 3-4 hours or simply can’t be tested for. Many bodybuilders and fitness athletes believe that Rob has never been natural and has always used oral steroids in low dosages and possibly human growth hormone (HGH).
Rob Riches came out publicly on his personal blog and attempted to explain about why he was disqualified from the UKBFF competition. He claimed that it was because he took a pre-workout supplement known as ‘Craze’ that contains an unlisted methamphetamine analog known as N-alpha-diethyl-benzeneethanamine. Then in an attempt to validate his claim, he links to Patrick Arnolds blog post ‘craziness over craze‘ and states it MUST have been the Craze. (Funnily enough a brand he is not associated with or sponsored by.) Worse still the packaging states clearly that if you are a drugs tested athlete you not take the supplement as it may cause false positives. What tested athlete wouldn’t check the packaging of supplements and medicine they are about to take?
The media later picked up the ‘methamphetamine’ containing Craze and the company who make the supplement, Driven Sports have since released a number of blog posts defending the supplement including laboratory reports showing proof that the supplement did not contain amphetamines. View part 3 here.
However, by around October 2013 it was ‘banned’ in the US and UK and the manufacturer Driven Sports stopped selling it. Driven Sports have since replaced Craze with a new squeal known as Frenzy.
If you would like to view Rob Riches appearance and commentary surrounding the competition, its been posted on YouTube and I’ve embedded it below:
There is also an ironic video of one of the biggest ‘natural’ bodybuilding frauds ‘Alon Gabbay’ calling out Rob Riches for failing a drugs test. http://www.youtube.com/embed/EH4n9Vo6kyI