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(ATR) Toxicology results indicate Olympic bobsleigh gold medalist Steven Holcomb had a “fatal combination” of the prescription sleep aid Lunesta and alcohol in his system at the time of his death.
Steven Holcomb won a gold and two bronze medals at the Olympics (USBSF)
Holcomb had a blood alcohol level of 0.18, according to the toxicology report. Drivers in the United States are considered legally impaired with a blood alcohol level of 0.08.
The 37-year-old was found dead in his room at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid on May 6. An initial autopsy showed that there was no foul play in his death and it appeared that Holcomb died in his sleep.
The toxicology report was provided to the Holcomb family, who then shared it with USA Bobsled & Skeleton. USABS released the information on Tuesday as part of a statement drafted with input from the family.
According to the USABS, the family believed that the coroner’s draft of an intended press release “included speculation beyond the scope of the toxicology report and autopsy findings” and requested through an attorney that the coroner’s version not be released.
"Anyone who knew Steven knew what a private person he was despite being a public figure. Our intentions were to continue to respect his privacy, even in death. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from around the world," the Holcomb family said in a statement to USA Bobsled & Skeleton.
Holcomb drove his four-man crew, with teammates Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz, to an Olympic gold medal at the Vancouver 2010 Games, ending a 62-year gold medal drought in the sport for the United States. The Park City, Utah native also won bronze medals in both the two and four-man event at the Sochi 2014 Games.
Holcomb enjoyed a strong 2016-17 season in which he finished top three in both the two and four-man World Cup standings. Steve was a five-time overall World Cup champion and a five-time world champion. Having competed for the U.S. since 1998, Holcomb was once again considered a legitimate Olympic medal contender for February’s PyeongChang Games.
"We're still in shock and struggling to come to terms with our loss," said Darrin Steele, USA Bobsled & Skeleton CEO. "The sliding community is a tight-knit family, and we lost one of our brothers. The outpouring of support from around the world has helped us begin the process of healing, but his absence will be felt for years to come."
Written by Gerard Farek
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