Conor McKenna’s latest Covid-19 test has come back negative after the Tyrone player was vilified in Australia for putting the AFL season in doubt.
The former Tyrone minor star was the first AFL player to test positive for the coronavirus at the weekend with this leading to his club Essendon’s game against Melbourne being postponed indefinitely.
The asymptomatic McKenna showed a ‘low-level irregular result’ on Friday before testing positive on Saturday, however, according to reports in Australian media outlet 7News, Essendon are now asking Victoria Public Health to investigate if it was actually a false positive.
Each of McKenna’s teammates’ tests from Monday also returned negative results, however, James Stewart will join the Tyrone man in isolation until July 4, after it was confirmed that he had been in close contact with McKenna during a wrestling session at Essendon training.
Huge news out of the #AFL with Essendon's Conor McKenna returning a negative test for coronavirus. @KathLoughnan and @RalphyHeraldSun will have the latest on #AFLTonight at 7pm AEST pic.twitter.com/NT2v1QlrCS
— FOX SPORTS News (@FOXSportsNews) June 23, 2020
“The first priority is the welfare of Conor and James … the club, with support from the AFL will ensure the players receive the proper support while in self-isolation,” AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said prior to the negative result, as reported by 7News.
“Although these circumstances are unfortunate, it proves the protocols work, ensuring the number of people deemed close contacts was minimised.
“What has unfolded in the last few days is a reminder to the whole competition that we must continue to be vigilant.”
McKenna will undergo more testing this week in the hope that he can exit quarantine early.
The Eglish club man has found himself at the centre of a media storm in Australia following his positive showing with shock jock radio host Ray Hadley calling for him to be suspended indefinitely for the AFL.
“He broke just about every AFL rule they put in place in relation to isolation”. He went to a home inspection with his partner – that was barred!
“He visited friends – that was barred! So, to my way of thinking this McKenna typifies the attitude of many Victorians; ‘the rules don’t apply to me, hence we have what we have now!’
“As a result of McKenna’s actions… the AFL season is on tenterhooks… six of his teammates can’t play, Essendon’s a basket case in the AFL.
“He should be suspended indefinitely for an act of stupidity that could cost the AFL hundreds of millions of dollars, let alone the players!”