[sumo] Sumo: JSA begins coronavirus testing for wrestlers, stablemasters (Jeffrey Anderson)

Scott Kahn smk1 at caa.columbia.edu
Wed May 20 06:08:58 EDT 2020

I agree, this is a peculiar and worrisome strategy, given what the field
has learned in just a short amount of time.

I could see if the reporter mistook an "antibody" test for an "antigen"
test, but they do say the test is blood based, indicating that this indeed
is an Ab test.  You are correct, if they want to test for ongoing
infections, a PCR based test is the way to go.  Ab tests have been
notoriously inconclusive, given that there are many false positives and
false negatives.  False positives might reflect exposure to other corona
viruses, while false negatives might indicate that the antigens used in the
tests to detect the Abs are not specific to those produced by the
individual, or that the antigen used in the assay loses its biologically
relevant structural conformation.

Given the health issues that current and former rikishi face, such as
diabetes and hypertension, it is so crucial that the NSK get this
"perfect", so that we can protect all involved in our beloved sumo
culture.  I love the historical culture of sumo and what sumo represents,
but that doesn't mean the NSK can not rely on the latest medical diagnostic

If someone has ties to the NSK, please advise them that this reported
screening approach is questionable at best, and that they adopt a more
reliable primary screen for COVID-19.  I'd be happy to provide
introductions within Japan to make this happen, though I'm sure that the
NSK has access themselves that they can, and should pursue to ensure that
they are doing everything possible to minimize the risk of COVID-19


On Tue, May 19, 2020 at 8:33 PM <sumo at paketjapan.com> wrote:

> Hi Jeff, hope you're keeping safe.
> Interesting article, but intrigued as to why they would use an antibody
> test.
> It may be useful for tracing spread and exposure, but doesn't give much
> info on active infections and false negative rate may be substantial.
> Most other professional sporting bodies around the world that I am aware
> of are testing athletes with tests that detect the RNA of the virus.
> Not sure what is to be gained for the rikishi by doing the antibody test,
> other than there are some forms of it that give you a result within 15
> minutes. Given above caveats though, this is not really an advantage when
> trying to get your sport active again by having comprehensive test results,
> especially when there have been confirmed positive infections amongst your
> athletes and staff.
> Hmm.
> When it comes to the Sumo Kyokai though, I suppose
> "Theirs not to reason why ..."
> Best to all the Sumo ML members and families.
> Cheers,
> Puchashuzon
> Date: Tue, 19 May 2020 10:02:23 -0400
>> From: "sumo-request at webtrek.com" <mailforwards at cloudmails.net>
>> To: Sumo Mailing List <sumo at webtrek.com>
>> Subject: [sumo] Sumo: JSA begins coronavirus testing for wrestlers,
>>         stablemasters
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>> Gaijingai
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