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Return to sport for North American professional sport leagues in the context of COVID-19
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  • Published on:
    Discussing the return to sport for professional sport leagues in the context of COVID-19: the Rugby Europe experience
    • António Miguel Cruz-Ferreira, Chairman of the Player Welfare Sub-Committee Rugby Europe
    • Other Contributors:
      • Luis Mendia, Medical Education Manager
      • Agathe Montocchio, Competitions Coordinator
      • Philippe Tuccelli, Director of Competitions
      • Florent Marty, CEO

    Dear Editor and authors,
    As we have been actively involved in the return to play process in European rugby at international level, it was with great pleasure that we have read the article “Return to sport for North American professional sport leagues in the context of COVID-19” by DiFiori et al.1
    We acknowledge, as the authors do, that an individualized approach must take place for each league and sport, but it is also true that all protocols must be broad and inclusive, going beyond testing and obtaining the active engagement of all agents.
    Rugby Europe is the European governing body of Rugby union and its top senior male and female competitions have just resumed in February 2021 and all over Europe, after a stoppage of 11 months, supported by a robust “Return To Play Protocol”2. This protocol was developed by the Rugby Europe Player Welfare steering group, during the summer and autumn of 2020, and considers different sanitary and testing aspects, most of which are also presented by DiFiori et al.1 in their paper.
    Testing is, of course, an important part of Rugby Europe RTP protocol, but it also includes a large number of sanitary and hygiene measures to be implemented by the match organization and each team. Regarding the SARS-COV2 testing, all players and staff have to be submitted to a RT-PCR test <72 hours before the match of before the travel to the host country, as well as to an antigen test <24h before the match.2 So far, 2179 SARS-CO...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.