Singapore

Bodybuilder in muay thai bout against Steven Lim died of natural cause

Autopsy showed he had enlarged heart; pre-match screening was adequate

Bodybuilder Pradip Subramanian, who collapsed after a 2017 celebrity muay thai bout against YouTube personality Steven Lim, died of cardiomegaly - an enlarged heart - with abnormal heart rhythms.

Following an inquiry, State Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam stated in her findings dated Feb 11 that the 31-year-old Singaporean died of a natural cause.

Associate consultant forensic pathologist, Dr Wu Jia Hao, from the Health Sciences Authority, who performed Mr Pradip's autopsy, had said that genetic screening for inheritable cardiac conditions revealed a pathogenic variant in the KCNQ1 gene.

This is a genetic mutation associated with abnormal function of the ion channels in the heart muscle, resulting in abnormal heart rhythms, the court heard.

Dr Wu felt that these conditions may have predisposed Mr Pradip to acute abnormal heart rhythms, resulting in sudden cardiac death.

Mr Pradip, who was the president of the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation, had gone through a medical screening before the match and was found to be fit for the bout.

He also made a declaration stating that he was free of any adverse medical conditions.

In her findings, State Coroner Kamala said two independent medical experts had found that the screening was adequate.

She added: "The on-site doctor would not have been able to detect Mr Pradip's medical condition as it would have required an ECG (electrocardiogram) to have been conducted.

"Both independent medical experts noted that Mr Pradip had not reported any symptoms related to cardiomegaly to the on-site doctor during the pre-match medical screening.

"The second independent medical expert also stated that the medical attention provided on-site was adequate and timely."

SINGAPORE IDOL

Mr Lim, then 41, was scheduled to fight former Singapore Idol contestant Sylvester Sim in the celebrity muay thai bout during the inaugural Asia Fighting Championship at the Marina Bay Sands Expo Hall A on Sept 23, 2017.

But Mr Sim, then 34, withdrew two days before the fight, citing insurance coverage issues.

Mr Pradip was announced as his replacement the next day.

On the day of the match, Mr Pradip went through a medical screening process by an on-site doctor before entering the ring with Mr Lim at around 8.10pm.

After Mr Lim was declared the winner about 10 minutes later, Mr Pradip slumped down against the padded corner column of the ring.

He was rushed to the Singapore General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9.51pm.

COURT & CRIME