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Minn. wrestling coach under investigation for allegedly giving medication to athlete

USA TODAY High School Sports logo USA TODAY High School Sports 3/20/2019 Cam Smith, USA TODAY High School Sports
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A Minnesota wrestling coach and his wife are under investigation for allegedly administering a prescription medication to one of his student athletes so that athlete could compete at a meet.

As reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, among other sources, the Waconia head wrestling coach - whose name is not being divulged as he has yet to be formally charged - stands accused of illegally distributing medical for Herpes gladiatorum, or mat herpes, to a student who developed a rash and was facing disqualification from a meet unless the condition was treated.

According to the Star-Tribune, the coach and his wife asked the athlete to come to their house, where they gave him a bag of acyclovir, an oral medication used to treat mat herpes.

The trip to the coach's house allegedly followed an earlier diagnosis of the skin infection impetigo at a walk-in clinic. But that diagnosis only brought with it a skin cream, which failed to clear up the infection.

The coach's wife is a longtime nurse, and so was able to diagnose the wrestler with mat herpes and obtain a treatment cycle of acyclovir. Yet even if the drugs were handed over with good intentions, the coach and his wife clearly understood that there was something wrong with what they were doing, per the allegations made by the student athlete as contained in the affidavit, as reported by the Star-Tribune:

The coach "told [the boy] to keep the herpes a secret," the search warrant affidavit said. "[The boy] stated that [the coach] told him not to tell other kids and do not go to other doctors. [The boy] felt that [the coach] was concerned that doctors would report the herpes outbreak to the MN State High School League."

Because the wrestling season is over, the coach in question is not currently working with the school district, avoiding an immediate conflict. Still, it seems likely the case could have a direct implication into the coach's ability to continue for the 2019-20 season.


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