The former manager of the late Shane Warne has taken aim at ABC health expert Dr Norman Swan for linking the Aussie cricket great's death to Covid-19.
Dr Swan was on Wednesday forced to apologise after making unfounded claims that linked not only Warne's death, but also the death of Labor senator Kimberley Kitching, to the deadly virus.
Warne died in March at age 52 after suffering a suspected heart attack on the Thai island of Koh Samui.
He was later farewelled at a state memorial service at the MCG, where the Southern Stand was renamed in his honour.
Warne admitted after testing positive for Covid-19 that he went on a ventilator, but he clarified that it was for trial purposes and that he was still able to exercise and breathe properly.
It's since emerged that former Victorian Labor Senator Kitching never tested positive for Covid and died of a suspected heart attack.
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”.
He also added about the late Senator Kitching: “These are two high-profile people. One of whose death was a complete surprise, and they both had Covid in the background.”
Neither Warne nor Kitching's deaths have officially been linked to Covid and on Wednesday morning, the ABC's Michael Rowland read Dr Swan's apology.
“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,” Rowland said.
“He made those comments during his interview on our program yesterday. Dr Swan says he’s personally apologised to Senator Kitching’s husband yesterday and that he made an error he regrets.”
Shane Warne's former manager slams Dr Swan
Reacting to Dr Swan's comments, Warne's former manager James Erskine let rip at the ABC health expert and insisted he knew absolutely nothing about the cricket great's health before he died.
“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.”
Following Dr Swan's original claim, 2GB's Ben Fordham hit out at the ABC health expert for the unfounded and explosive comments.
“He should be ashamed of himself. We called him out for that making the point that he’s not your patient, and if he was your patient you wouldn't be talking about him,” Fordham said on air.
“There’s an unwritten rule for medicos who work in the medical space: Don’t go speculating on cases you know nothing about and that’s exactly what he did yesterday on Shane Warne.”
Fordham's fury was echoed across social media as users took aim at Dr Swan and the ABC over the ugly furore.
Swan is an utter disgrace. So is the ABC for avoiding an apology to Shane Warne's family.https://t.co/VNnOFrUsm1
— TapeReader (@patricktapper) November 16, 2022
— Charles Haig (@charles_haig01) November 15, 2022
"ABC health expert Norman Swan has issued an apology after linking the deaths of Kimberley Kitching and cricket legend Shane Warne to Covid-19."
If the ABC had any decency it would bench this bloke, at least temporarily. No consequences, ever. #Auspol https://t.co/vWoUMJsLaX
— GemmaTognini (@GemmaTognini) November 16, 2022
Absolutely disgraceful, unprofessional and unethical behaviour from Swan. If either Warne or Kitching’s doctors spoke with the permission of their next of kin that’d be fine. @ABCmediawatch get your boy. https://t.co/q9o3B4KOAq
— Ms Mountebank (@MsMountebank) November 15, 2022
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