Penn State doctor clarifies surprising comments about myocarditis and COVID-19

Wayne Sebastianelli, MD, the team doctor for Penn State’s football team, caught both medical professionals and college sports fans by surprise when he claimed 30% to 35% of athletes testing positive for COVID-19 have myocarditis.

Now, however, Penn State has clarified Sebastianelli’s comments in a new statement. Yahoo! Sports reported on both the initial statement and the clarification.

“Dr. Sebastianelli was asked by a local school board to discuss high school preparations and precautions for holding sporting events during the pandemic and the potential impact of COVID-19 on the health of student-athletes,” the statement read. “During his discussion with board members, he recalled initial preliminary data that had been verbally shared by a colleague on a forthcoming study, which unbeknownst to him at the time had been published at a lower rate. The research was not conducted by Dr. Sebastianelli or Penn State. Dr. Sebastianelli wishes to clarify this point, and apologize for any confusion.”

The statement went on to highlight the fact that no Penn State student athletes have been diagnosed with COVID-related myocarditis.

Back in August, the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences canceled their 2020 seasons, aiming to make up any missed games in 2021.

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