A toxicology report provided to his family and USA Bobsled and Skeleton revealed that Olympic bobsledding champion Steven Holcomb had prescription sleeping pills and alcohol in his system when he was found dead last month
Holcomb's blood-alcohol level was discovered to be 0.188, well beyond the threshold for intoxication. It was also found out that he consumed more than the typical dosage of the sleeping aid Lunesta. The report showed that the combination was fatal for the bobsledder who was found in his bed at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York, on May 6.
No precise cause of the athlete’s death was revealed last month pending the completion of the toxicology report, only that an initial autopsy then showed that fluid in Holcomb's lungs was a significant factor in his death. His family said in a statement that: “"We hold our memories of him close and are so proud of him, not only as an athlete but also as a person.”
U.S. bobsled officials said the investigation by Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw is now complete. It is still unclear, though, if Whitelaw will ever release a final report. Whitelaw told The AP on Monday that he was prohibited from disclosing anything new about the slider's death because Holcomb's family threatened to sue, as it would be a violation of county and state law.
Holcomb's family felt the draft report by Whitelaw "included speculation beyond the scope of the toxicology report and autopsy findings.” Holcomb’s family said: "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."
Holcomb, 37, was a three-time Olympic medalist, including a four-man gold medal for the U.S. at the 2010 Vancouver Games. He won two bronzes at the Sochi Games in 2014 and was a virtual lock to make his fourth Olympic appearance at Pyeongchang next winter.
Holcomb was the biggest star USA Bobsled had, with 60 World Cup and 10 world championship medals in his collection. He previously talked about his past battles with depression, including a suicide attempt. Before his death, he also had many plans including sponsor appearances, a planned surprise visit to his mother and training sessions with U.S. teammates in Tennessee.
Holcomb will be inducted into the USABS Hall of Fame on July 1. U.S. officials waived the customary 10-year waiting period before former athletes are eligible for enshrinement.