AFL news 2021: Dion Prestia and Noah Balta test positive for Covid-19, Richmond Tigers, isolation, pre-season training

The AFL has been rocked after two premiership players from the same club testing positive to Covid-19.

Richmond premiership duo Dion Prestia and Noah Balta have both tested positive to Covid-19.

The Tigers confirmed the news on social media on Saturday night, explaining the positive tests will not interfere with the start of pre-season training for younger players next week.

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“Dion Prestia and Noah Balta have tested positive to Covid and are in isolation,” the club said.

“Close contacts have been tested as appropriate.

“It will not interrupt the commencement of pre-season training for 1-4 year players next Monday.”

Prestia played in all three of Richmond’s recent premiership triumphs in 2017, 2019 and 2020, while Balta appeared in the 2020 Grand Final win.

They are not expected back at the club for pre-season training until December 6, but Prestia has been at the club in recent weeks, according to Channel 7 AFL reporter Mitch Cleary. reports all Richmond players have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.

It adds to the number of positive cases emerging over the course of a week including Hawthorn youngster Finn Maginness as well as unnamed AFLW players at Richmond, Carlton and the Western Bulldogs.

Earlier this week, Essendon also confirmed club chief executive officer Xavier Campbell tested positive for Covid.

The club confirmed the fully-vaccinated Campbell had not been at their headquarters since last Wednesday and he also had not come into direct contact with the club’s football program.

Campbell confirmed he experienced mild symptoms on Monday afternoon and got tested, with his family now isolating as they also await their results.

“I experienced very mild symptoms on Monday afternoon and out of caution, got tested which has since returned a positive result. My family and I are now isolating as we await all results,” Campbell said via a club statement.

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