World’s strongest boy ‘Little Hercules’ made to eat lettuce as dad downed pizza
A pint-sized bodybuilder dubbed Little Hercules was forced to eat heads of lettuce while his abusive dad gorged on pizza in front of him.
Richard Sandrak, now 30, shot to international fame in 2005 as he boasted the physique of a professional athlete.
He was crowned the World's Strongest Boy aged just eight, maintaining his muscles with an intense gym routine. He would go on to lift three times his own body weight and become a master of karate.
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Richard was born in Ukraine but grew up in Pennsylvania, US, with his parents, who came under fire amid cruelty claims after reports said he had just 1% body fat – which could be fatally low.
His father Pavel fell out with his trainer and manager Frank Giardina, who suspected the dad's treatment of his son bordered on criminal, according to The Guardian.
This led to Pavel threatening to kill Frank.
A recent video from the History Rewind YouTube channel details how strict Pavel was with Richard's diet.
"He was never allowed to eat the meals that other people did since his parents put him on a tough diet," it states.
"He was only permitted to eat fruit, veggies and lean meats.
"He was granted permission to eat a head of lettuce if he became hungry between meals.
"Sadly, Pavel never maintained a consistent diet and frequently consumed pizza in front of his son."
Despite the allegations of abuse, Richard insisted he was never forced to do things he didn't want to do.
He said previously: "I've never been forced to train or do anything against my will.
"My parents used to train all the time and I wanted to join in. It was mostly my choice. It's just what I grew up doing. I was never forced. It was never an issue."
The Guardian reports that Pavel eventually wound up in prison for beating up his wife.
It was apparently Richard who called the police. He asked them not to use their sirens, fearing how his father would respond.
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