Painkillers, muscle relaxant linked to former WWE wrestler's death in Spring

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by Moises Mendoza, Houston Chronicle

khou.com

Posted on March 9, 2010 at 11:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 10 at 9:03 AM

The December death of a former World Wrestling Entertainment star in Spring was caused primarily by the combined effects of painkillers and a muscle relaxant, according to an autopsy report released this week.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, formerly the Harris County Medical Examiners Office, classified 36-year-old Edward Fatu’s death as “accidental” in the nine-page report, which also noted hypertensive cardiovascular disease as a cause.

It was not immediately clear why Fatu was taking the painkillers hydrocodone and diazepam and the muscle relaxant carisoprodol, or whether he had a prescription for them.

A phone number for Fatu’s Spring home rang busy and the publicist for his cousin, also a wrestler, did not immediately return an e-mail request.

A World Wrestling Entertainment spokesman said Tuesday that Fatu, who wrestled under the pseudonym Umaga, was released from
his contract last June for refusing to enter a into a rehabilitation program related to drugs.

In 2007, Sports Illustrated reported Fatu had received a growth hormone from an online pharmacy.

Just before his death, Fatu had returned home after being part of the “Hulkamania Tour” in Australia. He was found unconscious at home on Dec. 3 and died after being taken to Northwest Medical Center.

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