Allegation of Waconia HS staff giving student-athlete medication under investigation

The Carver County Sheriff's Office has opened a criminal investigation into allegations that coaches or staff at Waconia High School may have given prescription medication to a high-ranked wrestler.

A statement from the sheriff released Monday afternoon said on March 13, "the Carver County Sheriff’s Office received a report from the Minnesota Department of Education involving an allegation Waconia High School coaches or staff facilitated the administration of medications to student athlete(s) in order to treat an infection."

The allegations are detailed in a search warrant affidavit filed in Hennepin County that says coaches or staff at Waconia High School gave medication to a student athlete without a prescription in hopes he would not have to miss any matches.

Sheriff's investigators were first made aware of the allegations on Feb. 13 when the sheriff’s office received a student maltreatment report from the Minnesota Department of Education that was initated by the student's mother.

According to the search warrant, a wrestler on the team told police that around Christmas last year he developed a rash on his neck and behind his ear -- a rash the wrestler and his parents believed was impetigo, a bacterial infection that other teammates had had during the wrestling season. 

After a few days, the wrestler visited a Target Minute Clinic with his mother and a nurse practitioner diagnosed the rash as impetigo and prescribed a cream. The rash worsened over the next couple of days.

On Jan. 2, the wrestler received a text message from his coach asking him to come to his house for something that would help the rash.

According to the search warrant, the wrestler went to the coach’s house and the coach's wife, who is a registered nurse, allegedly gave him a bag containing pills and was instructed to take two pills a day. Police later identified the pills at Acyclovir, a prescription drug used to treat herpes.                 

The wrester reported to police that the rash began to clear up in three or four days after he began taking the pills. 

At a meet on Jan 3, a parent of another wrestler on the team noticed the rash and said it appeared to be herpes. The wrestler's parents sent a photo of the rash to the website "The Mat Doc" which helps find information on sports related skin and health issues. The Mat Doc advised the wrestler to see a doctor. 

On Jan. 7, the wrestler went to the doctor and was diagnosed with herpes gladiatorum. 

The coach advised the wrestler not to go to other doctors because they could report the herpes outbreak to the Minnesota State High School League who could then shut the program down if a certain amount of participants contracted herpes or other skin issues.

The coach's wife was brought into the Carver County Sheriff’s Office on March 14 for questioning.  

No charges have yet been filed in this case.