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The cause of death of former swimmer Jamie Cail in the US Virgin Islands in February has finally been clarified by police officials.

Cail, 42, was found on the floor of the house she shared with her boyfriend in the early hours of February 21. Her partner “left a local bar to check on his girlfriend at her apartment” around 12:08 p.m., police said at the time.

Upon his arrival he “discovered his girlfriend on the floor”. The friend, whose name was not released, rushed the Pan Pacific gold medalist to the Myrah Keating-Smith Clinic with the help of a friend.

According to police, Cail “succumbed to her affliction” despite undergoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the hospital.

Now, months after her mysterious death, the Virgin Islands Police Department said on Sunday she died of “fentanyl poisoning with aspiration of gastric contents,” meaning particles entered her lungs from her stomach.

Police cited an Aug. 22 autopsy report from the US Virgin Islands Board of Medical Examinations.

Originally from Claremont, New Hampshire, Cail was a junior swimming champion in the 1990s. She represented the USA B national team at the FINA World Championships in Brazil and won a silver medal in the 800m freestyle in 1998/99.

She won gold at the 1997 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.

Cail was reportedly a member of the University of Maine women’s swim team in the early 2000s.

The swim star worked at a cafe where she is friendly with people from across the community, her friends said, according to local TV station WMUR.

In recent years, fentanyl has taken over the drug supply significantly in the United States, leading to an increase in deaths attributed to its use. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021, many of which were due to fentanyl.

According to the CDC, the synthetic opioid is up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. “It is a significant contributor to fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses in the United States,” the agency’s website says.

“Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are the most common drugs implicated in overdose deaths,” it said.

“Even in small doses, it can be deadly.”

According to the CDC, over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

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