Saturday November 7 2020
Lotito: 'What even is COVID positive?'

Lazio President Claudio Lotito gave a typically outlandish interview defending their interpretation of COVID-19 tests. ‘Bacteria doesn’t mean infectious.’

The controversy erupted when some of Lazio’s players – specifically Ciro Immobile, Lucas Leiva and Thomas Strakosha – tested positive for two consecutive UEFA Champions League games, but negative for the Serie A encounters with both Torino and Juventus.

There was further confusion on Friday when ‘rapid response’ tests in Rome’s laboratory came up positive, but the same tests were processed at a lab in Avellino and were negative.

“I told you, it’s like a magic trick, what even is positive?” Lotito said in an interview with La Repubblica newspaper.

“Positive means contagious, right? There are bacteria in the vaginas of all women in the world, that doesn’t mean they are pathogens. Only in some cases do they become pathogens and degenerate.”

The problem explained by Lazio medical staff and pathologists is that the UEFA test seems to check for a third component that may well prove the presence of COVID-19, but does not contribute to a person being infectious.

This can lead to what in the Lega Serie A would be called ‘false positive’ cases, something that already happened with Inter and Achraf Hakimi.

UEFA and Serie A tests do not have the same threshold, so a player can be positive for one and not the other, even when using the exact same swab.

“Our director Igli Tare is positive too, but nobody can tell us right now if someone is infectious or not,” continued Lotito.

“There is this difference in the interpretation of results. Our medical staff evaluated Immobile, his lung capacity checks were better than before. We have the swab, he is negative and so is his family, so why can’t he play against Juventus on Sunday?

“I have asked the FIGC to introduce a single structure that can perform all the tests and have the same parameters for everyone. I suggested the Federlab, which already does them for Serie C. We need a third party that can end this chaos. We went to Avellino for our tests because the structures in Rome were already crowded and I didn’t want players to seemingly get preferential treatment, keeping others in line.”

Lotito also claimed La Gazzetta dello Sport are attacking Lazio because the newspaper is owned by Torino President Urbano Cairo.

“Cairo hates me because I beat him (in a political battle), that’s why his newspapers attack me. But he always loses, they’re bottom of the table.”