Wrestler says he was robbed of opportunity

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POTOSI, MO (KPLR) - Nick Juliette is a wrestler for Potosi High School.  The 18-year-old senior was hoping to advance to the state finals this year, but his dreams have been dashed by a doctor’s ruling.

Juliette has psoriasis.  It’s a skin condition that is not contagious.  He says a doctor overseeing district competition falsely assessed his condition as ringworm.  The assessment made Juliette ineligible to wrestle.  His plans for advancing to state ended Friday.

“It was tough,” said Juliette.

His parents were devastated, and believe the decision could cost their son an opportunity for a scholarship.  They say state rules prohibit them from challenging the doctor’s ruling, even though they have medical paperwork dated the day of the match indicating Juliette has psoriasis.

“A mother or father should be able to say this boy has had history of this, and they ought to check him out a little better,” said Tyler Juliette, Nick’s father.

Nick’s mother, Bridgette Sansegraw, says the doctor on site would not listen to her position.

“Wouldn’t even talk to us, give us the time of day,” said Sansegraw.  “It’s just no; your son’s not wrestling,”

Nick’s parents say they routinely visit the doctor for examination and notes for wrestling competitions.  They say they’ve never had a problem over their doctor’s notes until Friday.

The Potosi School District has contacted the Missouri State High School Activities Association.   The district is asking the agency to look into whether there’s a better process for conducting skin checks.  An agency spokesman tells FOX 2 the on-site doctor’s decision is final.  He said an on-site doctor provides the most up to date examination, and helps keeps contagious infections from spreading.

Nick and his parents say there’s nothing they can do about the ruling against their son, but they do want policies changed so future athletes won’t go through the same experience.

They believe parents should be able to make their case, and say having a dermatologist on site would help clear up any confusion.

“It wouldn’t have been as bad if it wasn’t my senior year, you know my last year,” said Nick Juliette.  “We tried everything we could.”