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Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault
Retired pro at home resting after operation
Eddy Merckx has been fitted with a pacemaker it was announced on Friday. The 67-year-old and most successful cyclist of all time has suffered from cardiac arrhythmia and was operated on at a clinic Thursday in Gent.
According to lavenir.net, Merckx is reported as saying, "I was operated by Dr. Johan Van Lierde. It was therefore prudent to take preventive measures to avoid certain problems. This will normalize the frequency of my heart rate... "
Merckx returned home on Friday and is set to spend the next 10 days resting.
Last year it was reported that Merckx may have ridden throughout his career with a persistent heart problem. According to an Italian cardiologist. Dr. Giancarlo Lavezzaro In “Eddy Merckx, the Cannibal” by Daniel Friebe, Lavezzaro claims that anyone presenting an equivalent cardiogram today would be denied a racing licence.
At the time, Merckx said, “On my father's side there are many heart problems. He and several uncles died young. I have myself examined every year. I do sport and take medication to keep everything under control. But during my career I never had any problems."