World Series

Turner rebuked by MLB for returning to field after positive Covid-19 test

MLB issues strongly worded criticism of Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner ‘emphatically refused to comply’ with Covid protocols

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SPORT PRESS GROUP

Major League Baseball issued a scathing rebuke to Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner after he returned to the field with his team-mates following their World Series-clinching Game 6 win having tested positive for Covid-19.

In a strongly worded statement, MLB said Turner “emphatically refused to comply” with coronavirus protocols and “put everyone he came in contact with at risk”.

“Immediately upon receiving notice from the laboratory of a positive test, protocols were triggered, leading to the removal of Justin Turner from last night’s game,” the statement read. “Turner was placed into isolation for the safety of those around him. However, following the Dodgers’ victory, it is clear that Turner chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others.

“While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.”

Turner was removed from the field during the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays and placed in isolation after MLB said it learned mid-game that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, which has ravaged the United States and claimed more than 220,000 lives across the country.

The 35-year-old returned to the field after the win, offering hugs in the dugout, posing with the Commissioner’s Trophy and removing his mask next to manager Dave Roberts, who was diagnosed in 2010 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer that develops within the immune system of the body.

“Thanks to everyone reaching out!,” Turner said on Twitter. “I feel great, no symptoms at all. Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine. Can’t believe I couldn’t be out there to celebrate with my guys! So proud of this team & unbelievably happy for the City of LA.”

MLB said it was opening an investigation into the incident. It was not immediately clear what, if any, disciplinary action Turner or his team would face.

“Last night, nasal swabs were conducted on the Dodgers’ traveling party,” the statement said. “Both the Rays and Dodgers were tested again today and their travel back to their home cities will be determined after being approved by the appropriate authorities.”

The World Series capped a truncated and tumultuous season for MLB, which put its schedule on hold for weeks due to the pandemic and had numerous players and support staff test positive for Covid-19 after games started in July.

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