Mr Big of bodybuilding dies in his late 30s

THE troubled bodybuilder known as Mr Big has died. Justin Rys spoke out about steroid abuse in recent years after he was jailed for importing drugs.

Rys held the titles of Junior Mr Australasia, Mr Gold Coast and Mr Oceania.

In 2006, he was sentenced to jail for 10 years for importing and distributing the drug Fantasy.

He initially took Fantasy to further his career, not as a recreational drug, the New Zealand Herald reported at the time.

He had dilated cardiomyopathy, which caused his heart to fail about once every six weeks.

The Herald on Sunday said Rys also had megarexia, a mental condition which made him think his body was small.

His megarexia persisted even though he was used as a model to simulate the giant gorilla for Peter Jackson's film King Kong.

Rys also revealed shortcomings in how prisons were treating sick inmates.

"You're such a big teddy bear and will be missed by so many," a mourner wrote on Rys' Facebook page today.

Rys was in his late thirties.