Its an addiction - simple as that - its sad to see that guys go to these extremes with dieting, drug use etc - but its a cocktail of bad news really - I dont think 1 thing on its own could kill you as such (besides the diuretics) - but all mixed together over years and years - of course not many people are going to come out the other side with no health issues or not dead.
Is it worth it? I dont know - depends how you look at it - some guys have made millions from bodybuilding - so is it worth it to them - yea I would say so - but then you have the LARGE % of bodybuilders/pro bodybuilders that will never make a $ off bodybuilding shows directly/sponsors - is it really worth the risks to them - fuck no - but they are addicted so nothing else really matters are the time.
I don't think it's an addiction in the traditional sense of a substance addiction but an addiction to the lifestyle - to being one of the biggest and the best and having people look at you and say 'i want to be like that one day' - which, let's face it, nearly all of us have thought at one time or an other. Whether it be looking up to Arnold in Conan or Lou in the Hulk as a kid or something more recent (for all you budding Ronnies out there).
One of the most important points,as [MENTION=3034]Rugby88[/MENTION]; pointed out is that for many of them it may represent an opportunity to make substantial money for them and their family if
they can secure sponsors and become a top tier pro. An opportunity that may otherwise not be available to them. The problem being that their are no shortage of budding pros willing to take these risks to reach the peak of our sport and unfortunately limited places to fill.
I think all of these guys are well aware of the potential risks and you'd like to think that the risks they take are calculated risk/benefit decisions. Unfortunately this is probably not always the case.
Regardless, it is a sport I love (despite all the dysfunction within), and everyone will make their own way through their lifting 'career' and make their own decisions. So whether you are natty, get on a couple of times a year or are a gear fuelled beast and life is one big cycle, you should never forget that without your health you wont be lifting anything - and good health can be fleeting.