Sparks' Sydney Wiese says she has coronavirus, decries lack of testing upon return from Spain

Yahoo Sports

Los Angeles Sparks guard Sydney Wiese tested positive for the coronavirus COVID-19, she said Friday on Twitter. She is the first WNBA player to announce a positive test publicly and detailed how she had to fight to eventually be tested after getting denied twice by doctors. The fourth-year player was in Spain earlier this month.

WNBA player tests positive

Wiese, who had a career-high 16 starts for the Sparks last season, said she is fortunate to only be showing mild symptoms. She said she lost her sense of taste and smell, a symptom Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz shared last weekend.

Wiese, 24, was playing overseas in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain, this WNBA offseason and hustled to get a plane ticket home after President Donald Trump announced a travel ban from Europe. The U.S. government later clarified it would allow American citizens and legal residents to come back.

Spain issued a lockdown within days. It experienced its deadliest day of the pandemic on Friday with 769 deaths in one day.

Wiese asks for coronavirus tests

Wiese flew from Barcelona to Mexico City to Los Angeles on March 13, she told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune a week ago.

“When I got to the customs desk [at LAX], they asked where I was traveling from. I said, ‘Barcelona,’ and they were unsure if they needed to test me or not,” she said. “Asked a few more officials if I needed a test, but they ended up saying I didn’t. Looking back, I should’ve insisted on being tested, but I didn’t.”

She continued her travels the following day to her parents’ home in Phoenix. It was there she went to a doctor and asked to be tested given her traveling history. Per the Tribune:

“I pushed for a test, but ended up giving up the fight, understanding the solution whether I had it or not would still be at least two weeks of quarantine, vitamins, water,” Wiese said. “And that is what I am doing now.”

She said then she was keeping her distance from her parents even though she felt fine and was not showing symptoms. In a tweet on March 16 she said the doctor told her they were trying to figure out the testing protocol and there were only enough tests for people “REALLY showing symptoms,” she wrote.

Lack of testing for coronavirus

In sharing her positive result, the former Oregon State star noted the larger issue of a lack of testing for the virus.

She was only able to get in for a test, she said, because a church friend knew her symptoms and got her in.

“A church friend works at Mayo Clinic and knew my symptoms,” she wrote in a response on Twitter. “She got me in for a test. I am grateful to have that connection, and she could get me in, but everyone should be able to get tested.”

It is unknown where or when specifically Wiese contracted the disease. As Doris Burke told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on his podcast while announcing her own coronavirus diagnosis, it is hard to track it when there are hundreds if not thousands of touch points in the world of sports.

WNBA yet to make decision to postpone

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said Thursday she does not want to make a premature decision and will wait to decide on postponing the season. Training camp is scheduled to begin April 26 with games tipping off in mid-May.

The league will hold the 2020 draft as scheduled, but it will be done virtually.

Los Angeles Sparks guard Sydney Wiese said she tested positive for coronavirus. (Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Los Angeles Sparks guard Sydney Wiese said she tested positive for coronavirus. (Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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