Shane Warne’s manager rages at Dr Norman Swan for Covid claim

Shane Warne’s former manager has fumed at ABC health expert Norman Swan for linking the cricket legend’s death from a heart attack to Covid.

Warne died aged 52 earlier this year, prompting an outpouring of grief around the world.

Dr Swan bizarrely told viewers on Tuesday morning that it was “too much of a coincidence” that both Warne and Senator Kimberley Kitching had both died of heart attacks not long after having Covid.

News.com.au then exclusively revealed that Dr Swan had been forced to apologise to Ms Kitching’s family, who say she had not tested positive for Covid before her death, also at the age of 52.

Warne’s former manager James Erskine has now reacted to Dr Swan’s comments.

“It’s totally disrespectful to air it. It’s just asinine,” Mr Erskine told The Australian.

“Why would anyone take any notice of what this guy has to say? What on Earth would he know about Shane’s health?

“Maybe he could tell us who really killed JFK.”

The ABC has since warned Dr Swan, saying in a statement: “Dr Swan has had discussions with ABC management about the comments. He understands the comments did not meet the ABC’s editorial standards.”

Dr Swan told news.com.au on Tuesday evening that he had apologised to Senator Kitching’s widower.

“I’ve clearly made an error which I deeply regret. I do recall such reports and have checked with others who did too but that doesn’t excuse my having upset the family.”

News.com.au is not aware of any previous reports that Senator Kitching had Covid and nor is her family.

ABC News Breakfast host Michael Rowland read out an on air apology to address the issue on Wednesday morning.

“Dr Norman Swan has issued an apology after suggesting there may be a Covid link to the deaths of Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching and cricket great Shane Warne. He made those comments during his interview on our program yesterday,’’ he said.

“Dr Swan says he’s personally apologised to Senator Kitching’s husband yesterday and that he made an error he regrets.”

News.com.au has confirmed that Senator Kitching was tested regularly for Covid as part of her job but never returned a positive result.

Ms Kitching died on March 10 from a suspected heart attack. She was being treated for a thyroid condition that was contributing to heart problems.

Earlier, Dr Swan told Daily Mail Australia that cricket legend Warne had “lots of risk factors for heart disease, but if he was going to get a bit of extra inflammation from Covid, that could have tipped him over the edge”.

“These are two high-profile people,” Dr Swan added. “One of whose death was a complete surprise, and they both had Covid in the background.”

Before his death, cricketer Shane Warne revealed while he was battling Covid-19 in August he was put on a ventilator.

But he said it was a trial treatment rather than requiring a ventilator to breathe.

“”It wasn’t because I could not breathe, or anything like that, it was basically a special ventilator that I was trialling to make sure there were no longer-lasting effects that Covid would have on me,” he said.

“I have been fine, I have been able to run, I have been able to do everything. I have been absolutely fine.

“It was a bit like a hangover, I had a pounding headache. The first couple of days, when I tested positive, I just had a thumping headache and I had one day where I had the shivers, but (was) sweating, like when you have the flu,” Warne told The Herald Sun.

“I lost a bit of sense of taste for a few days, but after three or four days I was fine. I have apparently got the holy grail. I have been double vaccinated and I have had Covid, so I am meant to be absolutely fine now.”

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