Cause of death revealed for Wipeout contestant who died after collapsing on course
A cause of death has been revealed for the Wipeout contestant who died after taking on the obstacle course in November. Michael Paredes died of a heart attack and also suffered from undetected coronary artery disease, according to a report from the L.A. County coroner's office obtained by EW.
The 38-year-old went into cardiac arrest after completing the obstacle course and was treated on set by emergency professionals. Paramedics were then called in and the contestant was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.
Although at times the terms "cardiac arrest" and "heart attack" are used interchangeably, the American Heart Association states a "heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly." Additionally, sudden cardiac arrest can happen after a heart attack or during recovery, and heart attacks increase the risk for sudden cardiac arrest.
Paredes completed two of the Wipeout obstacles but fell on the third, according to the coroner's report. He struggled to swim to the side of the pool and was lifted into a wheelchair before quickly losing consciousness. Bystanders began performing CPR and paramedics were called. He was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, where he was pronounced dead the following day.
The toxicology report also showed that Parades didn't have drugs or alcohol in his system when he died. He regularly consumed the pre-workout dietary supplement Nutrex Outlift Amped and drank a cup of water mixed with the supplement powder on the morning of the Wipeout taping.
The autopsy did not suggest the supplement played a role in Paredes' death, but it did state that his fiancée told investigators that the supplement may have triggered a false-positive result for MDMA, or ecstasy, shortly after Paredes arrived at the hospital. She told investigators that he did not drink or do drugs.
His fiancée also said Paredes exercised for two hours a day, five days a week. The couple sold wellness products, including the Nutrex product. He and his fiancée both participated in the show. To qualify, both had to undergo a drug screen, an EKG, and a COVID-19 test. They both passed the screening.
In November, sources close to the production confirmed to EW that all contestants on the show are expected to complete medical exams before being cleared to participate. Other safety precautions on the show include having on-site paramedics, doctors, and a safety producer.
The show, which has yet to premiere, is a revival of the popular ABC competition series of the same name that aired from 2008 to 2014. In September, TBS announced it was bringing back the program with John Cena and Nicole Byer as hosts.
"We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and our thoughts are with them at this time," Endemol Shine North America, the production company behind the show, said in a statement at the time.
"We are devastated to have learned of his passing and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family," a spokesperson for TBS said.