Clemson football star Justin Foster to retire due to COVID complications

The student-athlete says that his COVID diagnosis made it impossible to continue playing the sport

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A young football star’s career has been cut tragically short.

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Justin Foster of the Clemson Tigers announced he is retiring from football due to health complications from COVID-19. The defensive end, who suffers from asthma and allergies, announced the end of his athletic career on Twitter Wednesday.

“While my situation has improved, I am not in a position now, nor do I see that position soon, to step back on the field,” wrote Foster per People. “The decision came after months of recovery and treatment, which required asking a lot of difficult questions about my future…While I still have a way to go, I feel confident I will fully recover.”

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU
Justin Foster #35 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after making a play in the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Jan. 13, 2020, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The athlete was first diagnosed with the virus in August of 2020, causing him to miss out on the 2020 season. He says he was born with asthma which made his recovery time even more challenging.

“With sadness but no regret, I have decided it is in my best interest to call it a career and hang up football,” per the message. “During my four years as a Clemson Tiger, I’ve always pursued success in the classroom and on the field while preparing and training with the highest competition standards, passion, and perseverance.”

 Clemson’s head coach Dabo Swinney said recovery was a challenge for the young star.

“He had a very tough fall,” Swinney told ESPN. “He’s always had challenges with [asthma and allergies] but when he got COVID last summer, that really set him back.”

As reported by theGrio, college athletes who suffer with COVID-19 face extremely hard physical challenges.

A new study revealed student-athletes who have had COVID-19 are likely to have heart damage after battling the deadly virus.

Fox 2 reported, researchers at The Ohio State University shared data that highlighted the effects coronavirus has on student-athletes’ long-term health. According to the data, more than two dozen athletes who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 were included in the study. Of those athletes, more than 30% had cellular heart damage. 15% of the student-athletes surveyed exhibited signs of heart inflammation caused by myocarditis.

The 26 Ohio State University athletes included were monitored and the results were found using a process known as cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR).

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“Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging has the potential to identify a high-risk cohort for adverse outcomes and may, importantly, risk-stratify athletes for safe participation,” study authors wrote according to Fox 2. “Recent studies have raised concerns of myocardial inflammation after recovery from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), even in asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients.”

Additional reporting by DeMicia Inman

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