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Irons autopsy report released

2011-06-10 07:30
Andy Irons (File)
Honolulu - Surfing great Andy Irons died from a heart attack in a Dallas-area hotel room in November, with drugs a secondary cause, according to an autopsy report released on Thursday.

VIDEO: Tribute to Andy Irons

Irons's family released the autopsy results, which found the three-time world champion from Hawaii died from sudden cardiac arrest due to severe blockage of a main artery.

The official autopsy report, prepared by Tarrant County Chief Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani, also lists "acute mixed drug ingestion" as a secondary cause, although Irons's family disputes that finding.

According to the autopsy, the anti-anxiety medication Xanax, methadone, cocaine and a trace amount of methamphetamine were found in the surfer's system.

The family said in a statement that Irons was prescribed Xanax and the sleep aid Zolpidem to treat anxiety and occasional insomnia that he experienced as a result of bipolar disorder.

Irons, who was 32 when he died, may also have self-medicated with recreational drugs as he attempted to battle mood swings, according to his relatives.

Irons captured the world championship in 2002, '03 and '04.

He was en route to his home in Hawaii last November 2 after withdrawing from a competition in Puerto Rico due to illness when he died.

A four-time winner of the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, Irons was a well-known figure in the global surfing community.

The autopsy report had been held up by a Texas court, which blocked the release in December at the request of Irons's widow, Lyndie Irons, who argued the report of drug use could tarnish her husband's brand, upon which she and her infant son are financially dependent.

The family apologised for the delay and said the injunction was to allow Lyndie, who was then eight months pregnant, "to give birth in peace."

Family members said in a statement they hope people remember Irons for his "very full life, which included his intense passion for surfing and the ocean, his astonishing achievements as a world-class athlete, and his devotion to the family and friends."

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