FACT CHECK: Did The Irish Examiner Report That Referee Whistles May Be Causing ‘Heart Problems’ In Athletes?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows an article published by the Irish Examiner about a possible connection between referee whistles and heart problems in athletes. 

Verdict: False

There is no record of the Irish Examiner publishing such a story. A spokesperson for the outlet said the article was not genuine.

Fact Check:

The image shows what appears to be a headline from the Irish Examiner that reads, “Referee whistles may be cause to sudden increase in heart problems among sports players experts say.” The subheadline goes on to claim the discovery was made “after a number of sports players have had incidents on the pitch” and notes that “All incidents are non vaccine related.” 

The image does not show a genuine article from the outlet. No such headline or story could be found on the publication’s website, or on its verified social media pages. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports about the alleged connection between whistles and heart problems in athletes.

Irish Examiner Editor Tom Fitzpatrick told Reuters, “no such article has ever been published by the Irish Examiner.” (RELATED: Did The Daily Mirror Report That Sex Toys Are Linked To Heart Attacks In Women?)

While some studies have found a link between being exposed to loud noises over an extended period of time and heart issues, there is no evidence any experts have directly linked referee whistles to heart problems in athletes. Check Your Fact found no such academic study or credible news report to support the claim.

This is not the first time a fake news headline has suggested medical experts recently discovered an alleged connection between mundane activities and heart problems. Check Your Fact recently debunked a fake BBC News headline that claimed a new study found breathing “too many times” could increase the likelihood of a fatal heart attack.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter

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