SUVA – Former professional rugby league footballer , Petero Civoniceva is found dead in his apartment in Suva.
A preliminary report shows that the footballer died due to a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkiller oxycodone.
The wife of Civoniceva, Bonnie Civoniceva confirmed his death in a Facebook post, saying ” We have lost a dearest one, an irreplaceable vacuum. Petero Civoniceva is gone but his unsurpassable memories will continue to remain fresh in all commemorable activities of the National Rugby Association.”
Local media report Civoniceva was found dead in his home at 5:10 a.m. local time today.
The Martin County Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy, but county spokeswoman Carol Allis said authorities probably won’t release results for at least two weeks.
Police say in cases where there’s no obvious sign of physical trauma, authorities need time to get results of laboratory tests but statement his family issued through the National Rugby Association indicated, one of the World’s prolific footballer, Civoniceva had been struggling with pain and addiction for sometime before his demise.
Experts say mixing alcohol and medicines can cause dangerous reactions. Drinking alcohol while taking strong painkillers like oxycodone can result in breathing problems and increase the risk of an overdose, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
“The news that we have lost someone so vital and useful leaves everyone in the National Rugby Association stunned and saddened,” NRA commissioner Brandon Harrold has said in a statement: “The NRA family sends its deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Petero Civoniceva, to those who played and worked with him and to everyone who enjoyed watching him compete.”
Petero Civoniceva April 21, 1976 (age 41) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. A Queensland State of Origin and Australian international representative prop forward, in 2009 he broke the record for most international matches for Australia of any forward in history.
Civoniceva played his club football for the Brisbane Broncos, with whom he won the 1998, 2000 and 2006 NRL Premierships, as well as for the Penrith Panthers, whom he captained. Late in his career whilst playing for the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Queensland Cup, Civoniceva captained the Fijian national team in their 2013 Rugby League World Cup campaign. The Petero Civoniceva Medal is awarded to the Australian Fijian rugby league player of the year
Civoniceva was born in Suva, Fiji, where his father, Petero Sr, was a rugby union player. Civoniceva’s parents moved to Redcliffe, Queensland before his first birthday. There he attended Humpybong State School, then Redcliffe State High School before finishing his senior schooling at Frawley College, now known as Southern Cross Catholic College. He played junior football for the Redcliffe Dolphins until 1994.