Image: Anthony Troupe Jr.
Jeff Roberson  /  AP
Anthony Troupe Jr., 13, collapsed last week on a suburban St. Louis football field while running a lap before practice.
updated 8/24/2009 1:47:37 PM ET 2009-08-24T17:47:37

An obese eighth-grader's death during a football conditioning lap has revived the debate over testing of children's hearts before they engage in sports or strenuous activity.

Anthony Troupe Jr. collapsed last week on a suburban St. Louis football field before he even finished running a lap before practice.

The 13-year-old known as "Big Ant" for his 6-foot-2-inch, 383-pound body was pronounced dead at a local hospital an hour later.

The boy's father collapsed and died of a heart condition at age 45 after working a night shift in April 2007. It isn't known if Anthony had a similar condition, but some doctors say kids should receive a cardiac exam before playing competitive sports. Other doctors question if it would be too costly to run such tests on so many children.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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