Scientists have countered claims linking the Covid-19 vaccine with an increase in the number of footballers developing heart problems.
On-field emergencies involving Wigan’s Charlie Wyke, John Fleck, of Sheffield United, and Sheriff Tiraspol’s Adama Traore prompted wild speculation.
However, experts have pointed to research showing that previous coronavirus infection would be a more likely contributory factor than the jab, if there was any link at all.
A recent American study found that younger people infected with the virus were up to six times more likely to develop myocarditis than those who received the vaccine.
“Anything the vaccines do, natural infection will almost certainly be more common with disease,” said Prof Keith Neal, who has 25 years of experience in the research of the epidemiology of infectious diseases at the University of Nottingham.
Prof Jonathan Ball, a molecular virologist at the same university, added: “Studies have shown that Covid is more likely to cause myocarditis and pericarditis than the vaccines.”
The pair, who referenced research by universities and heart centres in Ohio, had already expressed their concern about former players sparking fears the vaccine had contributed to the recent health alerts.
Prof Neal said there was no evidence to show conclusively that any aspect of Covid was impacting on health in elite sport. “But these things are always investigated if reported,” he added.