SYDNEY (Reuters) – A Fremantle Dockers player who was isolated and tested for COVID-19 has been cleared of carrying the coronavirus, the Australian Rules club said on Tuesday.

The club said in a statement late on Monday they had sent the unidentified player for a precautionary test after he met up with a friend who had recently been to China and subsequently showed flu-like symptoms.

“I am very pleased to confirm that the player’s test result has come back negative,” club chief executive Simon Garlick said in a statement.

“Given the club’s position in the community, we made a decision to take a very conservative approach even though the player did not fit all the criteria for testing.

“We felt it was important to be proactive and diligent to ensure the safety of our players, staff and broader community.”

The coronavirus epidemic has killed around 3,900 people across the globe, including three in Australia.

Australian domestic sport has been largely unaffected by the outbreak with the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket final going ahead in front of more than 86,000 fans in Melbourne last weekend.

The Australian Formula One Grand Prix, which attracts some 300,000 fans a year to Melbourne, takes place this week, while the top leagues in the two most popular winter sports, Australian rules and rugby league, get underway over the next two weeks.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Jane Wardell and Richard Pullin)

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