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Leagues and Governing Bodies

Leagues to start scaling back on testing athletes for COVID-19

For the "first time" during the coronavirus pandemic, vaccinated UFC fighters “will not be tested for COVID-19 during fight week," according to Marc Raimondi of ESPN.com. UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell confirmed that fighters and their corner people who are fully vaccinated “will not have to undergo COVID testing nor any quarantining” at UFC 270 this week in Anaheim, Calif. Vaccinated fighters and corners “will still have to test negative in a pre-arrival test and will be tested for COVID prior to departure” as well. Unvaccinated fighters and corners “will still have to be tested twice during the week and quarantine." CSAC Exec Officer Andy Foster told ESPN that if “any vaccinated fighter or corner is symptomatic, they will be tested for COVID-19” (ESPN.com, 1/18).

FOLLOWING SUIT: The AP’s Stephen Whyno noted the NHL “will stop testing asymptomatic players, coaches and staff who are fully vaccinated” following the All-Star break in early February, as coronavirus cases “continue to decline across the league.” The current policy “will remain in place” until the All-Star break begins Feb. 3. There "will still be testing of asymptomatic individuals when it is needed” for crossing the U.S.-Canada border. Testing “will not be required at All-Star Weekend,” with one negative result “needed to return to team facilities after the break.” The 90-day testing “holiday” for players, coaches and staff who recover from COVID-19 “will remain in place.” The NHL and NHLPA also “agreed to keep the five-day isolation period that went into effect Dec. 29,” a reduction from 10 after the U.S. CDC “updated its virus guidance” (AP, 1/18).

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