Star bodybuilder George Peterson III, also known as "Da Bull," has been found dead in his hotel room, according to reports.
The 37-year-old's body was discovered on Wednesday — two days prior to the prestigious Mr. Olympia, which he was scheduled to compete in. Event organizers announced news of his death on Instagram hours later.
"It is with great sadness that we report the unexpected passing of George Peterson, a champion on stage and off. Our condolences go out to his family and all who respected and admired one of the kindest men we have ever known," the post read.
No cause of death has been revealed.
Peterson's long-time friend and coach, Justin Miller, told TMZ that he had spoken to him on the eve of his death and he was excited about the upcoming competition. The next day he was unable to reach Peterson via phone or text and, when he went to the bodybuilder's hotel room, reportedly found him lying face-down on the floor. Miller called 911 and attempted CPR but Peterson had allegedly already been dead for several hours.
Peterson was a regular figure in the bodybuilding circuit. He competed across the country, appearing in Olympia four times. He also won the Classic Physique competition at the 2019 Arnold Classic.
"Our entire team at the Arnold Sports Festival is profoundly saddened to learn of the passing of professional bodybuilder George Peterson," the Arnold Sports Festival wrote in an Instagram post. "We would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fellow competitors during this incredibly difficult time."
Chris Bumstead, Classic Physique Olympia Champion, also took to Instagram to pay tribute to Peterson.
"I appreciate you pushing me on stage and being a man to look up to both on and off the stage. Humble and hardworking at its finest. Sending my love to your loved ones brother. RIP," he wrote.
"A sad day for the bodybuilding world losing not just an amazing bodybuilder but truly an amazing man. No matter what, you were always upbeat, positive and had a smile on your face," added Olympia Champion Shaun Clarida. "We are all going to miss you champ!"
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