Autopsy reveals German runner died of heart attack

Updated: January 23, 2009, 9:08 AM ET
Associated Press

DRESDEN, Germany -- Rene Herms, who reached the 800-meter semifinals of the 2004 Athens Olympics, died of a heart attack caused by an inflamed heart muscle following a viral infection.

The cause of Herms' death on Jan. 10 was determined by an autopsy, investigators said Friday.

The 26-year-old Herms was found in his apartment by his mother-in-law.

The runner, a six-time German champion, had returned to training after having the flu over the New Year holidays.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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