Coronavirus: Top Japanese judo official infected, baseball and sumo also report sick athletes

In a photo from Jan 22, 2020, judokas attend judo training at the Kodokan in Tokyo.
In a photo from Jan 22, 2020, judokas attend judo training at the Kodokan in Tokyo.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (XINHUA) - The All Japan Judo Federation (AJJF) said on Sunday (April 12) that its managing director Soya Nakazato has tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections within the federation to nine.

Kyodo news agency said that the 62-year-old developed a fever last Sunday and underwent a test for the virus on Wednesday.

His positive result marks the ninth case of infection among members working at the federation's headquarters in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward.

As of Saturday, 24 of 38 staff members had developed symptoms of the pneumonia-causing virus, including fever, and 18 had taken a PCR test.

It was another heavy blow to Japan's sports society following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games on March 24.

The Osaka Evessa basketball club in Japan's B League Division 1 reported 12 positive cases earlier this week, including 11 players.

The Japan Sumo Association also announced the first wrestler to have tested positive for the new coronavirus on Friday.

"I'm sorry for the inconvenience, and for the time being I would like to concentrate on treatment and recovery," Nakazato said in a statement released by AJJF.

The federation closed the headquarters in principle from March 30, but a meeting was held there the following day which Nakazato attended.