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Vaccine Victims? Recent High-Profile Cases.

Some recent potential covid vaccine victims among athletes, celebrities, and politicians.


The updated global overview of athlete health issues currently includes about 800 post-vaccination cardiac arrests and other health issues and about 520 post-vaccination deaths. The differential diagnosis may include other health conditions (including “long covid”), doping or drug abuse.

Rafael Nadal: vaccine myocarditis or rib stress fracture?

In late March, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal (35, ATP world number 3) showed a very poor performance during the Indian Wells final in the US. He was seen clutching his left chest in pain and then received a kind of chest massage by his medical coach while lying on the floor (see video). Afterwards, Nadal complained of “chest pain” and “breathing problems”: “it’s like I have a needle in it all the time () it makes me feel a little dizzy () it’s a kind of pain that limits me a lot.” Nadal added that it might be “something in the ribs, I don’t know yet.”

One day later, Nadal explained on Twitter: “I wanted to announce that I have returned to Spain and I immediately went to visit my medical team to do the tests after the Indian Wells final that I played with discomfort. As it turns out, I have a stress crack in one of my ribs and will be out for 4-6 weeks.”

Nadal had received the covid vaccine by mid 2021 (“easy decision”) and he caught covid in December 2021 (“unpleasant moments”). It is not known if he received a booster dose. In general, a rib stress fracture might explain both chest pain and breathing problems, but absent medical confirmation, this might as well be a “cover story” to hide vaccine heart injury or even “long covid”.

Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters): drug overdose or vaccine-related death?

On March 25, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins died of a “cardiovascular collapse” in his hotel room in Colombia at age 50. Initially, it was reported that the death was due to an acute drug overdose, but this was later retracted. Instead, it became known that Hawkins complained of “chest pains” and asked the hotel to call an ambulance. The autopsy later found a significantly enlarged heart. An enlarged heart (cardiomegaly) may be due to chronic drug abuse or other conditions.

In this case, the deeper question is how safe covid vaccines are for people with pre-existing heart issues or with a history of medical or illegal drug use (vaccine trials didn’t answer this question). The vaccination status of Hawkins is not yet confirmed, but the Foo Fighters were known to require vaccination of fans attending their concerts.

Update: New evidence shows that Hawkins, although skeptical of covid vaccines, was vaccinated in the spring of 2021, was diagnosed with an enlarged heart in June 2021, and received a booster on 26 February 2022, just one month prior to his cardiac death. Thus, covid vaccination may indeed have played a contributing or key role in his death.

Other athletes

In late March, Australian world number one tennis player Ash Barty retired at age 25. Previously, she withdrew from two US tournaments due to “health concerns”.

In mid-March, world number two golfer and 2020 Olympic gold medalist, Nelly Korda (23), announced that she was diagnosed with blood clots and was recovering at her home in Florida.

In February, 17-year-old Danish golf prodigy Viggo Sorensen, winner of the Emirates Golf Federation Order of Merit, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and died.

In late March, Danish handball player Mikkel Hansen (34), one of the best handball players in the world, suffered phlebitis (vein inflammation) and pulmonary embolism, ending his season.

In February, French number one tennis player Gael Monfils (35, ATP #22) suffered an adverse reaction to his booster vaccination (“a small health glitch”) and had to withdraw from the Davis Cup.

French tennis player Jeremy Chardy (34, former top 30) had to suspend his season after a vaccine reaction in the summer of 2021. Chardy returned to practice in January but said he “regretted getting vaccinated”.

Former Manchester City and FC Barcelona striker Sergio Aguero (33) suffered a vaccine heart injury in 2021. In February 2022, he revealed that he had to end his career: “If I try to run, I lose breath. () I just feel like my heart doesn’t work properly.”

In late March, Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (33) was forced to withdraw from Slovakia’s international team after being diagnosed with a heart condition.

Since late 2021, several German soccer players, including Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies (21), suffered heart inflammation and had to rest for several weeks or months. In some of these cases, it was reported that the heart issues were from covid (after vaccination), not from vaccination itself.

In March, Belgian cyclist Cedric Baekeland (28) died of a heart attack during a training camp in Mallorca; Scottish cyclist John Paul (also 28) also died of a heart attack; Italian top cyclist Sonny Colbrelli (31) suffered a cardiac arrest after crossing the finish line during the Volta a Catalunya cycling race. In February, Belgian cyclist Tim Declercq (32), called “the tractor”, suffered post-vaccination pericarditis. (Read more about vaccine injuries in cyclists.)

In Switzerland, marathon champion Fabienne Schlumpf (31) suffered myocarditis after her booster vaccination; Olympic sprinter Sarah Atcho (26) suffered pericarditis after her booster vaccination; and soccer player Michael Perrier suffered a cardiac arrest and had to end his career.

In mid-March, West Indies’ cricket player Shamilia Connell (29) collapsed during a World Cup game. Also in mid-March, European Rugby League administrator Tiziano Franchini (44) died from a suspected heart attack. Former wrestling world champion “Triple H” (52) was vaccinated in April 2021 and suffered heart failure in September, but it was reported that this was due to either a “genetic heart issue” or “viral pneumonia”; in March 2022, he announced his retirement.

Other celebrities and politicians

In early March, US model Hailey Bieber (25), wife of musician Justin Bieber, was hospitalized due to a mild stroke caused by a “very small blood clot” in her brain.

In January, Tuesday Cross (31), the girlfriend of Eagles of Death Metal band leader Jesse Hughes, suffered an “asthma attack” and a cardiac arrest and was put into a coma.

In mid-March, within the same week, Australian cricketer Shane Warne (52) and Australian Labour senator Kimberley Kitching (52) both died unexpectedly of heart attacks.


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