Alabama coach Nick Saban has been cleared to coach in Saturday’s game against No. 3 Georgia following a third negative COVID-19 test Saturday, the school announced.

Alabama team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson said in a statement that Saban, who turns 69 later this month, had negative tests Thursday, Friday and Saturday following an initial positive test Wednesday.

The school added that two additional tests, from Thursday and Friday, were found to be negative at a separate lab.

“Due to the fact that Coach Saban has remained completely symptom-free and had five negative PCR tests, split between two separate labs, the initial test from Wednesday is considered a false positive under the SEC protocols,” Robinson said. “… In accordance with the SEC Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol and with the approval of The University of Alabama System Health and Safety Task Force, Coach Saban is medically cleared to safely return to activity effective immediately.”

Saturday’s test was flown to an SEC-approved lab in Mobile, Alabama, for a faster turnaround time. The school said the initial positive test came from an outside lab that the school uses to supplement the SEC’s mandated testing.

Under SEC protocols, the initial positive test on Wednesday is now considered a false positive after Saban remained asymptomatic with three consecutive negative tests. That allows him to coach the No. 2 Crimson Tide in Saturday night’s nationally televised game against Georgia at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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