A Waconia high school head wrestling coach and his wife are under investigation for allegedly giving a student athlete prescription medication to treat a herpes rash in an apparent attempt to avoid disqualification from competition.
Details of the investigation were revealed Monday in a search warrant affidavit filed in Hennepin County District Court and a statement issued by the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating.
The husband and wife have not been criminally charged as of late Monday afternoon. The Star Tribune generally does not name suspects who have not been charged.
Herpes gladiatorum, commonly known as mat herpes, is acquired during wrestling and is one of the most common infections caused by personal contact during athletic activity, according to medical experts.
The couple allegedly gave acyclovir, an oral medication used to treat herpes, to a juvenile boy on the team at their home on Jan. 2.
The coach “told [the boy] to keep the herpes a secret,” the search warrant affidavit said. “[The boy] stated that [the coach] told him not to tell other kids and do not go to other doctors. [The boy] felt that [the coach] was concerned that doctors would report the herpes outbreak to the MN State High School League.”
The search warrant affidavit alleges that the pill bottle for the medication bore the name of the coach’s wife, who told authorities she has been a nurse for 19 years.
The coach and his wife did not return a message seeking comment. Nor did the Minnesota State High School League, which promotes and governs high school athletics.
The school district issued a short statement noting that the coach is “not currently coaching for Waconia Public Schools as the 2018-2019 wrestling season has been completed.”
“The allegation is currently under investigation by an outside investigator retained by Waconia Public Schools,” the statement said.
According to the search warrant affidavit: The sheriff’s office received a student maltreatment report from the Minnesota Department of Education stating that the boy’s mother had reported the incident to the Waconia school district on March 12.
A sheriff’s detective met with the boy and his parents on March 13. The boy said he had developed a skin rash on his neck and behind his left ear in December.
The boy was diagnosed on Dec. 30 with the skin infection impetigo at a Target Minute Clinic. He was prescribed a medical cream, but the rash only worsened.
The boy told authorities that his coach texted him on Jan. 2 and asked him to come to the coach’s house after practice. The boy said the coach’s wife handed him a clear plastic bag containing white pills, which he ingested that day per her instructions.
A teammate’s parent told the boy’s parents at a wrestling meet the next day that his rash looked like herpes.
The boy’s mother told the detective that the coach told them that day not to take their son to a doctor.
The boy’s parents brought him to a doctor on Jan. 7, and he was later diagnosed with herpes and prescribed a different medication.
The boy allegedly told authorities that it was a “semi-normal thing” for others to obtain medication from the coach, and that another teammate had gone to the coach but was not given anything because he was not ranked in the state league.