A member of the Ohio State women’s track team was hospitalized on Friday, but has been released, an OSU athletics spokesman told The Lantern. He said others on the team were also treated after being evaluated.
Spokesman Dan Wallenberg sent a statement that said one member of the team reported not feeling well Friday and was evaluated. After that, medical staff looked at the rest of the team for similar symptoms, and an additional five members were referred to the hospital for testing. They have since been released, though the statement also noted “one student-athlete was admitted and is responding well to treatment.”
The Columbus Dispatch reported Monday the track athlete was diagnosed with muscular condition exertional rhabdomyolysis.
Rhabdomyolysis, or rhabdo, is the breakdown of muscle tissues that can lead to muscle fibers being released into the bloodstream. The fibers releasing into the blood can break down into substances that can damage kidney cells. The disease can occur when the muscles are overworked.
Wallenberg said the issue did not arise from workouts outside the NCAA-permitted eight hours of practice time per week in an offseason.
“It’s important to note this incident was not related to strength and conditioning activities. Student-athletes were taking part in allowable team practices under the supervision of the coaching staff,” Wallenberg’s statement said.
Wallenberg did not say whether the school had been in contact with the families of the student-athletes involved.
A source with knowledge of the team told The Lantern that OSU was downplaying the importance of the issue.
“I think it was just a misjudgment of how tough practice would be,” the source said. “I don’t think they’re reacting enough.”
Six members of the OSU women’s lacrosse team were hospitalized with rhabdo in 2012. According to a Lantern article from March 2012, none of those six players suffered kidney damage. A report at the time cleared coaches, players, physicians and trainers from wrongdoing but recommended that the strenuous workout that contributed to the hospitalizations be dropped from training.
Clinton Hartz, a team physician for the OSU athletic department, declined to comment on the matter.