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Early results reveal 31 MLB players tested positive for COVID-19

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Los Angeles (AFP)

A total of 31 players tested positive for the coronavirus in Major League Baseball's first round of mass testing to prepare for the start of the delayed season.

The 31 players, and seven additional staff members, make up 1.2 percent of the 3,185 samples collected in the first set of results. The players came from 19 of the 30 clubs.

The league and the players' union announced the results Friday as teams resumed training for the first time since the global pandemic shutdown spring training on March 12.

The season is now scheduled to start on July 23, making it the latest opening in American baseball history.

The 1.2 percent positive rate compares favorably to the NBA which saw 5.3 percent (16 of 302) of its people test positive in announced results on June 26. The MLS had a positive rate of 2.7 percent (18 of 668).

MLB is not officially identifying individual players who test positive but the Cleveland Indians said Friday that American outfielder Delino DeShields tested positive.

Several other teams have raised suspicions by placing players on injury lists without announcing the ailment.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Friday that the Philadelphia Phillies placed four players on their COVID-19 injured list, comprising US second baseman Scott Kingery, US pitcher Tommy Hunter, pitcher Hector Neris, of the Dominican, and pitcher Ranger Suarez of Venezuela.

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