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Mon Apr 21 14:11:42 SAST 2014

Coroner investigating Port player’s Vegas death

Reuters | 11 September, 2012 09:220 Comments
AFL Rd 23 - Richmond v Port Adelaide
John McCarthy of the Power competes for the ball during the round 23 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Port Adelaide Power at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 2, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia
Image by: Scott Barbour / Getty Images

A cause of death for the Australian Rules footballer who apparently fell from the roof of a Las Vegas hotel on Sunday could take weeks to determine, Nevada’s Clark County Coroner’s Office said on Monday.

John McCarthy, a 22-year-old midfielder for Port Adelaide Power, a top-flight Australian Football League (AFL) club, had been on holiday with some teammates when he was found dead outside the Flamingo Hotel & Casino early on Sunday morning.

Nevada’s Clark County Coroner’s Office told Reuters by telephone on Monday the body was identified as John McCarthy but said that a report on the cause of death was still pending.

“The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department received a call from security at the Flamingo Hotel reporting that a subject had apparently fallen from a roof of the property onto a driveway, a distance of approximately 30 feet,” the Clark County Coroner and Medical Examiner’s Office said in a statement.

“The person was transported to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:16 a.m. (1316 GMT on Sunday). The decedent was identified this morning (Monday) by a family representative in a meeting with the coroner.

“An autopsy is being conducted today. The cause of death may take weeks to determine, pending the results of the autopsy and the return of toxicology and other laboratory reports.”

The death has cast a pall over the AFL’s postseason finals series which opened over the weekend. Port Adelaide failed to make the finals in the 18-team competition and played their last regular season game on Sept. 2.

“It’s our understanding that at the time of his death he wasn’t with any other players.” Port CEO Keith Thomas, who said none of the team’s players were staying at the Flamingo, told reporters in Adelaide.

McCarthy had played 21 games in a breakout season with Port this year after struggling to make the first team at Melbourne-based rivals Collingwood.

Players of the bruising indigenous code traditionally embark on wild celebrations with team mates in their home cities and in overseas destinations after their final games of the season.

The blowouts, which have been dubbed “Mad Mondays,” have attracted negative headlines in recent years with some pundits blasting clubs for failing to protect their players.

“It’s a tragedy, but we can’t really say anything more than that at this time,” a club official told Reuters by telephone.

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