Young Rugby Player Dies After Using Clenbuterol


“It is just not worth the risk”. These are the harrowing words from the parents of a budding young sportsman whose life was sadly snatched away after using an athletic performance enhancing drug Clenbuterol.

Clenbuterol, also commonly referred to as Clen is a drug designed to help treat conditions relating to breathing problems caused by asthma and severe allergies. It is a well-known stimulant, which many in the sporting world use to cut body fat while on a calorie deficit diet. While it does work for weight loss, it also has potentially fatal side effects, which can lead to the advent of arrhythmia and death.

Fred Dibben, also affectionately known as ‘Freddie’ lived in Ringwood and was found to have passed away in his bed by his father after having purchased anabolic steroids from an online retailer on the internet. Aged just 28 years old, Dibben went to bed after completing his night-shift at his place of employment, and hours later was found to have passed away.

The coroner’s court at Winchester heard that Freddie, of North Poulner RD, passed away in March 2017 after taking the stimulant drug, Clenbuterol. In the hours following the inquest, his parents, Lorraine and Clifford stated that they wanted to give warning to all of those other young men out there of the dangers of using performance enhancing drugs such as Clen.

His mother, Lorraine said that her son was an intelligent man and that he believed himself to be in control, so how do you get others to realize that this drug is going to cause severe damage to the heart? She went on to say “The risks are just not worth it” and that many young males believe that they can just stop when they want to. She then referred to her son as being a ‘gentle giant’ who was very popular and kind.

Clenbuterol is also known as a cutting agent in the world of professional athletes and is often used when preparing for competition to meet weight targets. Unfortunately, many people are aware of the risks of the drug, and continue to abuse it for reaching body goals. Short-term side effects of Clenbuterol can range from headaches, muscle cramps, heart palpitations and breathing problems. Over the long-term, it can lead to atrophy of the left artery of the heart, swelling, and inflammation of the heart, and can exasperate any pre-existing conditions. Those with high blood pressure should never use Clen, as it can prove to be fatal.

Those who abuse Clen and take it in doses above the recommended guidelines face severe consequences, which can quickly prove to be fatal. Signs of overdose include tremors, stroke, breathing issues, vertigo, and tachycardia (a racing heart). The onset of overdose symptoms can occur in as little as a few minutes and if left ignored may lead to death. This is why it is important to use medications for their intended purposes and under a doctors guidance only.

During the inquest, his father, Clifford said that his son had been attending the gym on a daily basis and consumed protein shakes for many years. Dr. V Elliot, the pathologist appointed, informed the inquest that Mr. Dibben had suffered from an enlargement of the heart and his lungs were also found to have blood in them.

Freddie was a much-loved and highly-valued member of his local rugby team, Ellingham, and Ringwood. The team held a two-minute silence before their game against the rugby team from the Isle of Wight as a sign of respect. The coroner ruling lists misadventure as the cause of death on Mr. Dibbens death certificate.