It was announced today that two-time World Long Course Tri champ Torbjørn Sindballe is calling an end to his professional triathlon career due to a heart ailment.
"After meeting with the doctors on Tuesday and sleeping on it," said Sindballe, "it was clear to me that I was going to end my career. The past two months have been tough as it has been both a very emotional time and a very complex problem for the doctors to advice on. There is very little hard science on elite endurance athletes with heart malformations, but after reviewing the general recommendations and whatever science there is, I feel this is the right decision as there is a clearly elevated risk that the malfunction will progress if I continue."
The Dane has known about an abnormal heart valve since 2005, and it manifested itself in the most recent Wildflower Triathlon. After the incident in California he has gone through extensive testing and evaluation with Danish experts. After considering their advice Torbjørn has decided to stop his career immediately.
It really makes you wonder how many amateur athletes are out there who have ailments that could potentially cause them great harm but never find out. Unfortunately we hear all too often about fellow athletes dying while training or racing etc. Steve Larson is of course a very recent example. I'm glad that Sindballe has found out about his condition before something drastic happened and it is a shame that we won't see him blazing the triathlon bike courses.