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Saints owner hospitalized; spokesman cites altitude-related symptoms

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson was hospitalized Tuesday morning after falling ill during a team practice.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports Benson, 87, was assisted into an ambulance Tuesday morning and transported to a hospital to receive oxygen. Saints spokesman Greg Bensel speculated that the illness could be related to the altitude in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., where the Saints are training for the upcoming NFL season.

“(Benson) was transported to a local hospital in Lewisburg, W.Va., and was given a series of tests, of which, doctors did not find any issues or complications,” Bensel said. “He was treated with oxygen and has been released.”

Tuesday’s incident isn’t the first time Benson has had health issues at The Greenbrier. The Times-Picayune reported Benson was hospitalized on Thursday with similar symptoms. He was treated and released from the hospital in time to watch the Saints’ walk through later that evening from a golf cart.

“He’s up in the mountains and it’s got a little elevation so we’re constantly monitoring him,” Bensel told the paper last week.

U.S. Geological Survey data indicates White Sulphur Springs is at 1,857 feet above sea level. Metairie, La., the site of the Saints’ headquarters and home training facility, is at three feet above sea level.


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