The brother of influential US soccer journalist Grant Wahl, who died on Friday while covering the World Cup in Qatar, says he no longer suspects foul play.
Grant Wahl, 49, had a “death rattle cough” from a persistent case of bronchitis shortly before collapsing while covering Argentina’s quarter-final victory over the Netherlands, according to his brother Eric Wahl.
Eric had previously speculated that foul play was involved because the soccer writer was an outspoken critic of the Qatari government and had received death threats after wearing a rainbow shirt to a match.
However, the brother stated on Twitter on Tuesday, “The family will release a statement as to the cause of death soon.” I no longer suspect any wrongdoing. [Pulmonary embolism] was not the case.”
Eric retracted a Monday tweet in which he stated, “It appears Grant experienced a pulmonary embolism and was in a non-shockable state.”
He also claimed there were no defibrillators in the stadium, but later corrected himself on Twitter, writing that “per a US government official, FIFA is saying AEDs were available at the stadium,” referring to the devices.
It’s unclear why Wahl didn’t have a defibrillator.
Grant Wahl’s body was brought to New York City for an independent autopsy on Monday. Dr. Céline Gounder, an infectious-disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital, brought his body to a city medical examiner on Monday.
Eric provided an update on the situation on Monday, writing, “We are traveling with Grant’s body to the medical examination & autopsy.”
“Thank you to American Airlines for their incredible assistance,” he added. Thank you to the New York Port Authority and the United States government. Humbled.”