Wrestlers say they were disqualified over non-contagious rashes

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OREM — A Utah County wrestling coach said his son and two of his students were disqualified from the 5A state wrestling championship because of non-contagious skin rashes.

All three were expected to compete in the tournament being held at Utah Valley University on Wednesday and Thursday.

“It’s so frustrating,” said Salem Hills High wrestling assistant coach David Morely. “You look at how much time and effort and energy these guys put in and it’s literally hundreds of hours.”

Morely’s son was disqualified during the division tournament even though they had all the proper paperwork and a doctor’s signature saying he was not contagious.

“Everything was met according to the Utah High School Athletic Association requirements and then it was like the doctor’s requirements and notes and medication was disregarded,” Morely said.

For senior wrestler Heston Wood, this was a very difficult day. He had been preparing to compete for a state championship since he was young. Instead, he was disqualified for a rash that had spread across his chest.

“There is no reason that I should be disqualified. It’s not fair. It’s heartbreaking to me, it’s heartbreaking to my family,” he told KSL.

Wood said he filled out all the proper paperwork UHSAA officials required.

That included a doctor’s signature saying his rash is not contagious but was the result of medication he’s taken for a staph infection that he said was no longer contagious.

“It is not contagious. It’s not spreading and I have the proof that medication caused the rash,” he said.

It is not contagious. It's not spreading and I have the proof that medication caused the rash.

–Heston Wood

Medical professionals with the athletic association overruled the decision, which they can do according to the Skin Lesion Policy found in the forms the athletes filled out.

“While this can be frustrating and may seem over the top they are done in the name of health and wellness overall,” said Jon Oglesby, UHSAA assistant director.

While this can be frustrating and may seem over the top, they are done in the name of health and wellness overall.

–Jon Oglesby, UHSAA

Oglesby said they have a team of medical professionals and a handful of trained athletic trainers working during the state championship. He said they take these issues very seriously and examine them on a case-by-case basis.

He added they are just following national and state rules on athletes’ health and safety.

“The onsite medical professional per the national rules and per our policy has the ability to make the final call whether it’s safe or not for an athlete to participate,” Oglesby said.


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