NRL referee Henry Perenara has retired at the age of 40 due to a heart condition.
Perenara revealed to the Daily Telegraph he had been diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia, an abnormally fast heartbeat that causes shortness of breath, dizziness sweating or fainting. And, the referee was close to fainting in training last week, despite having the condition for 15 years.
“I nearly blacked out,” he told the Telegraph.
“I don’t remember much of it, but that’s when I had to make the decision to give it away. You certainly don’t want to risk it happening in a game.”
“I just kept pushing through it. It’s not life-threatening, but it’s not good either. It feels like your heart is beating out of your chest. It’s happened in games, but I’ve just tried to mask it.”
Perenara told the Telegraph he was prescribed medication to slow his heartbeat, which had at times gone up to 230 beats per minute.