AN INQUEST into the death of a Blackburn bodybuilder was halted because family and friends were not satisfied that Nigel Anthony Dix had died as a result of taking anabolic steroids.

They called for further investigation of the effects of medicine prescribed to Mr Dix just two days before he died and for the pathologist responsible for the post-mortem to be made aware of the medication and the problems it had caused.

Coroner Andre Rebello agreed to adjourn the inquest so that the doctor who prescribed drugs to treat Mr Dix's asthma could give some evidence along with Doctor Richard Prescott, who carried out the post mortem and reported on the findings of specialists from King College, London, and Manchester Royal Infirmary. Their test showed that as well as cannabis being present in Mr Dix's system there was evidence of ingestion of anabolic steroids. The inquest heard that Mr Dix, 30, of Oban Drive, Blackburn, a keen bodybuilder and part owner of a gymnasium, had previously admitted to his doctor that he injected steroids. He had a history of suffering from asthma and two days before his death had gone to see his doctor. He had been prescribed a course of anti-inflammatory steroids and an asthma inhaler. His partner, Lisa Parker, and fellow body-builders told the inquest that Mr Dix had complained of cramps in his legs on Tuesday and on Wednesday had suffered cramps in his arms and chest.

Miss Parker said she phoned the doctor on Monday night when he came home and was breathless and had been told it took time for the tablets to work. Both she and Mr Dix had spoken to the doctor by phone on the day he died.

Adjourning the inquest to a date to be fixed, Mr Rebello said that clearly there was doubt in the minds of family and friends that everything that could and should have been done for Mr Dix had been.

"I do not think we are going to make any progress until we have the evidence from the various doctors," said Mr Rebello.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.