NRL referee Henry Perenara has retired at the age of 40 due to a heart condition.
Perenara revealed to The Daily Telegraphhe had been diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia, an abnormally fast heartbeat that causes shortness of breath, dizziness sweating or fainting.
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He said he had been officiating with the condition for almost 15 years and had an episode at training last week.
“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.”
It’s too risky for Perenara to keep officiating. Picture: Alix SweeneySource:News Corp Australia
“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.
He went into officiating after playing 72 NRL games for five clubs and has refereed 204 first-grade games since making his debut in 2011.
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Originally published asTop NRL ref forced into shock retirement
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