Former Olympic basketball player who was found dead on a beach dies of ‘unknown cause’
A former Olympic basketball star whose body was found on a Sydney beach a week after he was declared brain dead has died of natural causes, according to police.
Key points:The body of Michael Johnson was found at the North Shore beach on Saturday morning after police were called to the scene of a suspicious deathThe Australian Olympic Committee has confirmed Johnson’s deathThe body was recovered from the beach on SundayThe former Olympian was found unconscious on the beach, naked, surrounded by towels, with a knife in his hand on Saturday afternoon.
“The body has been taken to the Royal Sydney Hospital where we will conduct an autopsy and we will be providing further updates as soon as we have more information,” an Olympic spokesperson said in a statement.
“Michael Johnson was a key part of the Australian team during his five-year international career, and will be greatly missed by his teammates, coaches and many friends.”
Mr Johnson was an integral part of a squad that won gold at the 2006 Beijing Olympics, in which he was an All-Australian.
He was part of an Olympic team that won silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a bronze at the 2012 London Olympics.
The Australian team will be held to an unprecedented standard of excellence at the London Olympics, where the players will face the world’s greatest athletes, with the first ever Paralympic Games set to start in 2020.
Mr Johnson had been a member of the Australia National Team, but was not invited to compete in Beijing because he was too ill.
The death of Michael Smith, the former All-American and gold medalist at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, was ruled a suicide after a police investigation, but the details of the investigation are not known.
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