A JUDO champion and Olympics star has died after reportedly suffering a heart attack while undergoing a boob job.
Maricet Espinosa Gonzalez, 34, from Cuba, underwent the surgery on January 21 before suffering complications, according to local media.
“La Mole”, as she was known, was a two-time Pan American Judo Championships winner following back-to-back successes in 2013 and 2014.
The Havana-based athlete also won two silver medals at the continental judo Championships in 2016.
That same year, Espinosa represented her country at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the women’s 63kg competition.
She defeated Nepalese judoka Phupu Lhamu Khatri in the first round but lost in the next round to Israel’s Yarden Gerbi, her most frequent opponent during her career.
Espinosa also won bronze medals at Grand Slam tournaments in Rio de Janeiro (2011), Tokyo (2012), and Baku (2016) in the 63-kg category.
She retired just nine years after making her international debut in 2008.
Following the shock news, tributes poured in for the former athlete.
Sports journalist Robiel Vega said on Facebook: “It is with terrible pain that I received the sad news of the death of Maricet Espinosa, ‘La Mole’, as she was known in the world of judo since she was just a child.
“She was an excellent athlete and a former National Team member. I send my deepest condolences to her friends and family.
“Rest in peace, champion.”
Last week, it was announced that Canadian world champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber had died at the age of 29 from “medical complications”.
The young athlete died on January 17 at his home in Kingswood, Texas, his agent Paul Doyle confirmed to The Associated Press.
And French ski legend Alexis Pinturault was airlifted to hospital earlier this month after a horror crash in a World Cup race.
Pinturault fell 50 metres after his skis detached whilst landing in a super-G race in Switzerland – Sun.