Sivert Bakken had a successful end to last season when he took home the mass start in Holmenkollen.

This season, however, looks to be significantly bleaker.

In an interview with Norwegian TV2, the 24-year-old says that he is struggling with his health and that he has not been able to train for over five months.

"Pressure over the chest"

His problems began in May shortly after he received his third dose of the covid vaccine.

Bakken is affected by pericarditis - inflammation of the heart sac - which the European Medicines Agency (EMA) classifies as a rare side effect of the vaccine.

- It is almost 100 percent certain that it is due to the vaccine, says Bakken to TV2.

- The body felt tired.

I sought medical attention and stopped training completely, then it just got worse and worse.

I felt a physical discomfort and a pressure on my chest, he says.

Unclear if he can compete this season

He takes new blood tests regularly in the hope that the level of the substance troponin will have decreased to a level that will allow him to resume full training.

- We'll see how long it takes, but there won't be a race before Christmas anyway, says Bakken.

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New ammunition rules could become an expensive story for Swedish biathlon