Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Teen tennis player released from quarantine

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A 17-year-old Winnipeg tennis player quarantined this week at the Canada Games in Prince Edward Island over concerns he might have had H1N1 influenza was abruptly released Thursday night after test results proved negative.

"We got the call, were told it was negative and that we should come pick him up," said Team Manitoba manager Barry Moroz.

"It wasn't H1N1."

Tennis player Muzeen Ismath, who plays out of the Tuxedo Tennis Club, was withdrawn from competition and quarantined Wednesday after he complained of a high fever and other flu-like symptoms.

The revelation that Ismath was negative came after a day that saw Manitoba and Games officials in PEI do their best to downplay the story. After being extraordinarily forthcoming with information on the Ismath case on Wednesday, Team Manitoba officials sought to contain the story on Thursday.

Moroz said team officials would have no further comment on the case, a request to interview Ismath was denied and other players on the Manitoba team had been forbidden to discuss the case.

"We're going to wait until the results come out before we have any more comment," Moroz said earlier in the day. "It's not a big issue. There's no real story here.

"If everything's OK, which it probably will be because he seems to be fine now, then he probably just had a touch of a bug of some kind."

Moroz said there have been no other reports of any other players or officials with Team Manitoba getting sick. And he noted that two of Ismath's teammates on the Manitoba tennis team -- Sean Bailey and Chad Lacap -- won bronze in men's doubles in PEI Thursday, only the second medal of any kind for Manitoba at that point.

While a team official informed a reporter the two players would have no comment on the Ismath case, Bailey did describe a team that had rallied together since Ismath was withdrawn from competition and quarantined on Wednesday.

"We've had to make up for it, but we've all been really supportive of each other -- probably the most out of all the provinces," said Bailey.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 21, 2009 A8

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