Australian Olympic runner and Middle Distance champion Stewart McSweyn has developed pericarditis following his COVID-19 booster.
McSweyn could not physically finish a 5,000-meter race in Melbourne on Tuesday night.
Afterward, doctors urged him not to compete in Serbia for the World Athletics Indoors Championships later this month.
The Australian 1-mile record holder recently took a COVID-19 booster shot and entered the race in suburban Box Hill to prove his fitness for the world indoor championships in Belgrade starting March 18th.
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However, McSweyn experienced a dramatic episode during the race, where he struggled to breathe and had to stop with three laps remaining.
While his teammates initially thought his January bought with COVID was responsible for the struggles, further examination revealed the booster shot was the culprit.
A Covid booster shot has been revealed as the cause of breathing issues which stopped Olympian Stewart McSweyn mid-race.
— Courier Mail Sport (@cmail_sport) March 10, 2022
'A Covid booster shot was the reason behind Olympic finalist Stewart McSweyn’s dramatic episode during a race earlier this week. He was struggling to breath in a 5000m event on Tuesday & was forced to stop. The Oz 1500m record holder has periocarditus.'https://t.co/DHbvnlSq8F
— John Ruddick 🌸 (@JohnRuddick2) March 10, 2022
The COVID World reported:
McSweyn’s coach Nic Bideau said the alarming circumstances around what happened to the distance star was a warning to all athletes.
“What the doctors have told me is that you really shouldn‘t be having a booster so close after having COVID because it is just too much. It doesn’t serve as a vaccine then and it can make you sick again which is what seems to have happened.
It has got around his heart and obviously affected his breathing. He could certainly get through normal life without any issue but it‘s only because we’re trying to make him compete against the best in the world that it has opened up.”
McSweyn only got the booster to ensure he could travel to next week‘s world indoor championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
That is obviously now off his agenda and he will see a cardiologist on Friday for further tests. Bideau said:
“The first step is he sees his cardiologist for more blood tests and an ECG which will tell us more.
He won‘t be running for week and will probably have to take some medication. If all this fine he should be back training within 10 days.”
McSweyn is not the first Olympic runner to suffer cardiac complications following the COVID-19 shot.