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Conflict Over Surfer's Death

6/9/2011 10:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The family of surfing legend Andy Irons is adamant the former world champ died as a result of complications from heart disease -- and nothing else -- however, the official autopsy report shows drugs were a factor.

Andy Irons Drugs

Seven months after Irons died in a Dallas hotel room, Andy's family released a statement today explaining Irons died from a heart attack caused by the hardening of his coronary arteries. The family says they spoke with a prominent forensic pathologist who explained Irons had a genetic predisposition to early development of heart disease ... which was SOLELY responsible for the heart attack.

However, the toxicology report and the autopsy from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner note a second cause of death -- "acute mixed drug ingestion."

According to the report, Irons had Xanax and methadone in his system at the time of his death ... along with Benzoylecgonine -- a compound commonly produced by the body after cocaine use.

Andy's wife says the surfer did not use meth, "so it is likely the substance was present in the cocaine he ingested."

Both sides seem to agree dengue fever was not a factor -- as originally suspected.

Irons was 32 years old.

The situation is a carbon copy of Billy Mays' death -- where the coroner ruled the primary cause of death was heart disease and the secondary was cocaine use. Billy's family bitterly disputed the coroner's finding as it related to drug use.



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