Shane Warne’s former manager slams doctor for ‘totally disrespectful’ comments on cricket legends death

Nov 17, 2022
Doctor makes controversial link with Shane Warne's death. Source: Getty

The former manager of cricketing legend Shane Warne has called out the ABC’s Dr Norman Swan for his “totally disrespectful” comments on the King of Spin’s death, demanding the broadcaster take action against the doctor.

Warne died of “natural causes” believed to be a heart attack while on holiday in Thailand on March 4, 2022.

However, Dr Swan made the wild call to link the 52-year-old’s death to a previous case of COVID-19, saying that despite the high risk of heart disease in the sportsman, his previous COVID-19 infection “could have tipped him over the edge”.

The commentator also included Labor senator Kimberly Kitching in his bizarre suggestion but has since apologized to Kitching’s family due to the senator never having had COVID-19, and the ABC have issued a statement on his behalf.

“Dr Swan has had discussions with ABC management about the comments. He understands the comments did not meet the ABC’s editorial standards,” the statement read.

Per The Sydney Morning Herald, Warne’s former manager, James Erskine, slammed Dr Swan for being a “sensationalist”.

“At the end of the day he’s a doctor, and he should spend his time helping people survive rather than basically surmising how people died,” Erskine said.

“He has no idea of the circumstances, he has no idea of the medical records, he probably has never met the people he’s talking about, and he’s being totally disrespectful to the families and people he’s talking about.”

While it’s common knowledge that COVID-19 infections could lead to deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, other medical experts have condemned Dr Swan for associating Warne’s death to the virus, saying linking the virus to heart issues is an exaggeration and “biased”.

It’s no surprise that Warne’s reported heart attack was felt across the globe, but the cricketing icon’s shocking death was especially felt by many Australian men who began to consider their own mortality. 

In an interview with Herald Sun, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners president Karen Price said there has been a remarkable rise in men making GP appointments after news of Warne’s death broke.

“Fifty to 60 per cent said people came in talking about it [Shane Warne’s death] and then wanted to know information about their own heart health,” Dr Price said.

Searches on The Heart Foundation’s website support Dr Price’s statement, as their heart attack-related content had doubled in the 24 hours after Warne’s death, with their most clicked content focused on the warning signs of a heart attack, and the heart age calculator which allows people between the ages of 35-75 to estimate their risk of heart diseases.

According to cardiologist and director of Victoria Heart, Dr Andris Ellims “heart disease is the commonest cause of death in Australian adults” and is urging people to be “on the front foot with their own health.”

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