American journalist Grant Wahl, who collapsed and died while covering the World Cup in Qatar last week, passed away at the age of 49 due to an aortic aneurysm that ruptured, his wife Dr. Celine Gounder said.

“An autopsy was performed by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office. Grant died from the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium. The chest pressure he experienced shortly before his death may have represented the initial symptoms. No amount of CPR or shocks would have saved him,” Gounder said in a post on her husband’s substack site.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, an aortic aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in the aorta, the large artery that carries blood from the heart through the chest and torso.

“His death was unrelated to COVID. His death was unrelated to vaccination status. There was nothing nefarious about his death,” she added.

Wahl is credited with helping grow the popularity of soccer in the U.S. and reported on some of the sport’s biggest stories.

He spent more than two decades writing for Sports Illustrated before starting his own website.  

American soccer players both past and present along with other sports figures have been paying tribute to Wahl since his death.

After his body was returned to the U.S. earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted “I so appreciated Grant Wahl, whose writing captured not only the essence of the beautiful game but also the world around it.”

Some information in this report came from the Associated Press.