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by Shane Stokes
November 19, 2015
Photography by Cor Vos
A day after the news that José Joaquín Rojas would undergo a heart procedure to address an issue discovered last week by Movistar’s medical staff, his team has said the issue was more straightforward than initially believed.
On Tuesday Rojas said that he had a condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which causes bursts of rapid heart rate. Usually harmless for those who follow a regular life, it is a more complicated issue for top level sportspeople.
“I have been told that they will insert a catheter through my groin and burn the fibres that cause this anomaly,” he said, speaking about the procedure in the hospital of Navarra.”
However, Dr Alfredo Zuñiga, of the Movistar Team medical service, said that this burning of fibres – known as an ablation – was ultimately deemed unnecessary.
“The electrophysiological study was purely exploratory in nature,” he told CyclingTips. “It allowed the medical team to ascertain that the issue detected will have no future consequences for the sporting activities of the athlete. He was able to leave the hospital soon after the procedure.”
Rojas is expected to return to training soon.
He was Spanish national champion in 2011 and has also taken stages in races such as the Volta a Catalunya, the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and the Vuelta a Castilla y León. The 30 year old sprinter won the opening stage of the Tour of Qatar earlier this year.