There isn’t much new to add to the story of Vitali Mitu, who died of some sort of lung failure after training with three time K-1 World Grand Prix champion Semmy Schilt. But since this story actually involves someone dying (and the implication that Semmy was involved at least peripherally), we’re gonna try to handle it with slightly more accuracy than most of our crap.
There’s some different versions of the story floating around – the original Sherdog one where Mitu collapsed moments after being hit by a big knee from Schilt, and another where Mitu had only trained with Schilt earlier that day. Now here’s an official release from Schilt and Mitu’s camp that doesn’t really clarify whether the two were sparring at the time but does seem to imply the “knee that broke the lung’s edema” story is false:
“What happened on Thursday evening was something we didn’t expect, an unfortunate event, a tremendous pain for everybody, trainers, colleagues, acquaintances and family,” read a statement signed by trainers Ciprian Sora and Horia Radulescu. “The tragedy happened during training when Mîţu fainted without being hit. In 3 seconds I got to him and I gave him first aid. In a few minutes came the ambulance. The doctors from SMURD tried for an hour to resuscitate him and after an hour they determined his death by cardiorespiratory arrest, without signs of violence except normal ones caused by resuscitation maneuvers.”
According to the release, an autopsy conducted by the National Institute of Forensic Medicine from Bucharest determined that Vitali died of “an acute viral pneumonia that turned into pulmonary edema, without signs of trauma other than those caused by resuscitation maneuvers.”
Whatever the details, it’s pretty scary to think this guy was training, competing, and seeming in well enough shape to do so right up until the point where he collapsed and died. Still, it happens. So be careful and listen to your body, people.