A group of Stanford track and field athletes engaged in a “non-sanctioned, off-site training activity” amid COVID-19-related restrictions, Stanford Athletics spokesperson Brian Risso confirmed in an email to The Daily on Friday.
According to a source familiar with the matter, one of the athletes was driving from New Jersey to Flagstaff, Arizona, a popular destination for altitude training, and was in Missouri with a teammate as of Monday. A family member of the athlete said a coach had given the athlete permission to travel to train, according to the source.
Risso declined to confirm or deny the source’s account. He declined to clarify what he meant by “non-sanctioned” and declined to say whether anyone in Stanford Athletics had known of the travel plans in advance. He also declined The Daily’s request to interview the team’s head coach and the athlete named by the source.
“We are continuing to gather additional details and the matter will be addressed internally,” Risso wrote.
Stanford Athletics announced on March 12 that all competitions and practices are “suspended until further notice.”
The athletes’ travel not only violates Stanford Athletics’ restrictions, but also comes at a time when the majority of states, including New Jersey and Arizona, have urged residents to stay at home. New Jersey’s stay-at-home order went into effect on March 21, and Arizona’s on Tuesday. Stanford has also asked its students to avoid nonessential travel.
Since canceling its remaining athletic seasons, Stanford has moved classes online for the spring and summer quarters in an effort to combat the spread of the virus. Most undergraduates, including many athletes, were told to return home.
In a video posted to Stanford Athletics’ Instagram page on Friday, several athletes shared their home training regimens.
“Even though I can’t be out on the tennis court right now, I’ve enjoyed staying active by running around my neighborhood, doing body weight circuits with my teammates over zoom and setting up my own personal gym right here in my backyard,” said Tim Sah, a junior on the men’s tennis team.