Doug Furnas Update: Former WWE Star Died of Heart Disease

David Bixenspan@davidbixFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2012

Doug Furnas (Photo by WWE)
Doug Furnas (Photo by WWE)

Monday night, on a subscribers-only edition of Wrestling Observer Radio at F4WOnline.com, Dave Meltzer provided more details on the death of Doug Furnas after speaking to the coroner about the autopsy.

Slam Wrestling producer Greg Oliver expanded on this in an article Tuesday.

The official cause of death is atherosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease. Past steroid use and stress on his body from Parkinson's disease are believed to be contributing causes. The belief is that he had not used any drugs recently, and as such, no toxicology studies will be done.

Slam spoke to his widow, Martha, on Monday.

"Fortunately, he died very, very peacefully," she said. "He was a warrior and a champion. His cause of death ended up being his heart. I got the coroner's notice just this morning."

While Furnas had pledged to donate samples of his brain tissue to Chris Nowinski's Sports Legacy Institute for analysis, environmental conditions caused problems that made retrieval of samples impossible. The same issues also precluded an analysis of whether or not he had the enlarged internal organs that have played a role in many deaths of relatively young wrestlers.

The visitation (Friday at 6 p.m.) and funeral (Saturday at 2 p.m.) will be held at the Commerce, Okla., high school gymnasium. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Doug's name to the Sports Legacy Institute.

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