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Release of Andy Irons autopsy delayed at wife's request

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 5:29 a.m. HST, Dec 29, 2010

FORT WORTH, Texas — A Texas court has blocked the release of an autopsy report on surfing champion Andy Irons at the request of his widow.

Judge Melody Wilkinson approved Lyndie Irons' petition to postpone the release of the report until at least May 20. Irons' widow argued the report could tarnish her husband's brand, citing the "intense news frenzy" and "innuendo of drug use" surrounding her husband's death, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Tuesday.

Irons was found dead Nov. 2 in his hotel room at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, where he was staying on a layover on his way home to Hawaii. A police report said the anti-anxiety medication Xanax and the sleeping aid Ambien were found in Irons' hotel room. There were no signs of trauma and foul play.

The 32-year-old surfer won world championships in 2002, '03 and '04, and was a four-time winner of the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office did not contest Lyndie Irons' petition, said Ashley Fourt, a Tarrant County assistant district attorney. Medical Examiner Dr. Nizam Peerwani has not yet ruled on a cause and manner of death, meaning the autopsy report is not complete.

"(Peerwani) is still awaiting some test results and until all the test results are in, he will not make a ruling," Fourt said.

Lyndie Irons' petition argued that delaying the release of the autopsy findings would allow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to complete research into Andy Irons' death and make the report more accurate. Irons' family has said he contracted dengue fever, a virus that is spread by mosquitoes in tropical areas.

Irons' widow and newborn son are financially dependent on a company established "by the celebrity of Andy Irons," the petition said. They would suffer economic harm if the autopsy report were released immediately, diminishing the value of the company.

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