Australian Olympic runner and Middle distance champion Stewart McSweyn has developed pericarditis after receiving the COVID-19 booster shot. McSweyn was unable to finish a 5000-meter race in Melbourne on Tuesday night, prompting doctors to warn him against going to Serbia for the World Athletics Indoors Championships later this month.

Tokyo Olympic finalist Stewart McSweyn has developed pericarditis after receiving the COVID-19 booster shot

McSweyn recently had his COVID booster shot and entered the race in suburban Box Hill in an attempt to prove his fitness for the world indoor championships in Belgrade beginning on March 18th. However, the 26-year-old was struggling to breathe during the race and was forced to stop with three laps remaining.

McSweyn’s team quickly assumed the incident was related to COVID which he’d contracted in January, but further examination has found it was the booster shot last month which has caused the issue.

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.”

Middle-distance star McSweyn will miss the world indoor athletic championships in Belgrade

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.”

Next month’s national championships in Sydney remain in the schedule pending his recovery with his first international race marked down as the May 13th Diamond League meet in Doha.

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