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Ulissi given permission to resume training after heart biopsy

Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)
Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Diego Ulissi has been given permission to resume training after a cardiac biopsy performed in late January ruled out the possibility of congenital heart disease. In a statement on Wednesday, UAE Team Emirates said that no date has been set for the Italian’s return to racing.

Ulissi was ordered to rest from training and competition for several months when he was diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, after an irregular heartbeat was detected during pre-season testing in December.

In January, Ulissi spent several days in the Riuniti Hospital in Ancona, where he underwent a cardiac biopsy, as well as electrophysiological study and analysis under the supervision of Professor Antonio Dello Russo.

“The results of the cardiac biopsy carried out on Diego Ulissi on January 21 at the Riuniti hospital in Ancona, Italy excluded congenital cardiomyopathies and confirmed an older myocarditis, likely of viral origin, whose etiological agent has not been identified,” read a statement from UAE Team Emirates on Wednesday.

“The biopsy found the absence of risky arrhythmias for the athlete during the electrophysiological study, which will allow for the progressive resumption of training. In any case, a periodic monitoring period will follow before confirming any definitive return to racing.”

The 31-year-old had performed strongly in 2020, winning two stages at the Giro d’Italia at Agrigento and Monselice, as well as the general classification at the Tour of Luxembourg. Last summer, he extended his contract with UAE Team Emirates through the end of the 2023 season.

Ulissi’s fellow Italian Elia Viviani (Cofidis) was also assessed at the same Ancona hospital in January after he noticed an anomaly in his heartrate during a training ride. He underwent an atrial ablation to treat cardiac arrhythmia, and he has since resumed training. Viviani is set to start his 2021 season at the UAE Tour on Sunday.