Reports have circulated that a Dockers player has been tested for coronavirus.
Reports have circulated that a Dockers player has been tested for coronavirus.

AFL rocked by coronavirus scare

THE fear around coronavirus for Australian athletes is set to rise after it was confirmed an AFL player had been sent for "precautionary testing".

The Fremantle Dockers released a statement late on Monday night confirming a player had been in recent contact with someone from China.

"The Fremantle Football Club advises that a player has been sent for precautionary Covid-19 testing after having contact with a friend who had been in China earlier this year," the statement read.

"The player has advised the club that after his friend returned from China the friend underwent a 14-day isolation period, as recommended by the Australian Government for all Australians returning from China.

"The friend reported that they had suffered no flu-like symptoms during or after the isolation period.

"The club was further advised that following the completion of the 14-day isolation period by the friend, which ended more than two weeks ago, the friend travelled to Perth and visited the player.

"The player reported to club medical staff today that he was suffering flu-like symptoms and, as a precautionary measure and despite the fact that the friend had reported no flu-like symptoms, the player was immediately sent for testing and isolated.

"The test results are expected to take 24-48 hours.

"The club will provide a further update when more information becomes available."

The AFL and the Dockers face an anxious wait.
The AFL and the Dockers face an anxious wait.

The sporting world has been concerned by the coronavirus with Serie A and European soccer matches in Italy playing in front of empty crowds.

Athletes from around the world have also reassessed how they sign autographs and doing fist bumps or elbow taps rather than shaking hands.

The AFL has not been immune either, having already cancelled this year's match in China amid coronavirus fears, with St Kilda instead to host Port Adelaide at Marvel Stadium.

The premiership season match had been slated for Sunday, May 31, in Shanghai but the outbreak of the virus forced the league to act.

Port had bought the rights to host the clash, but the cancellation means it will revert to being a Saints home game.

The clash has been moved from round 11 to round 12 and will start at 5.40pm AEST on Sunday, June 7, the day before the Queen's Birthday public holiday. Both teams will now have a bye in round 11.

"It has become really clear that to proceed with the game in Shanghai would be placing our people at an unacceptable risk," AFL fixture chief Travis Auld said.

"It is evident that the coronavirus still poses a significant risk internationally and quite simply we will not compromise the health and safety of any of our clubs, supporters and AFL team members."

Gillon McLachlan told The Age last week that "exposure for us is limited" regarding the spread of the illness.


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