Napoli chief medic Alfonso De Nicola said Italian football is “at the vanguard” for prevention of sudden death in players, but still couldn’t save Davide Astori.
The Fiorentina and Italy defender was found dead in his hotel room this morning, where the Viola were due to play Udinese this afternoon.
Astori’s body has been taken to the Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital for an autopsy.
“Unfortunately, it can happen and it has happened. This must boost research into how we can spot these issues and prevent them in future,” De Nicola told Mediaset Premium.
“In Italy, we are at the vanguard for prevention of sudden death syndrome. It is a pathology we are studying in Italy more than any other country.
“We also have some very strict rules and tests before anyone is given the clearance to take part in sport on a professional level. The tests are fundamental to spot and prevent cardiac issues.
“The law states that every single year, every player has to undergo various tests, including an ECG and stress test. The rules are for an ECG every two years, but most if not all clubs do it once a year just to be sure.
“Evidently, we need more study, more research and to understand more about how this happens.”
Astori died in his sleep, but only in April 2012, Livorno player Piermario Morosini collapsed and died during a Serie B match.
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