Tokyo Olympics: American star pole-vaulter Sam Kendricks tests positive for COVID-19

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jul 29, 2021, 02:40 PM(IST)

Sam Kendricks Photograph:( Reuters )

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"In alignment with local rules and protocols, he has been transferred to a hotel to be placed in isolation and is being supported by the USATF and USOPC staff," the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said in a statement.

American pole vaulter and reigning world champion Sam Kendricks is out of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 after testing positive for COVID-19, the officials confirmed on Thursday. 

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Kendricks, who was favourite to win a medal in the event, has become the latest high-profile athlete to exit the Games after testing positive for COVID-19. 

"In alignment with local rules and protocols, he has been transferred to a hotel to be placed in isolation and is being supported by the USATF and USOPC staff," the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said in a statement.

"Sam is an incredible and accomplished member of Team USA and his presence will be missed. Out of respect for his privacy, we cannot provide more information at this time."

According to Kendrick's father and longtime coach, Scott Kendricks' deleted Instagram post, the pole-vaulter is fine with no symptoms. 

After Sam's COVID-19 test, a 63-member strong Australian Athletics Team has been isolated. However, it remains unclear if any other American athlete was isolated. 

The Australian Olympic Committee on Thursday confirmed the news and released a statement that read: "Members of the Australian track and field team are now undergoing testing procedures in line with Australian Olympic team protocols."

Tokyo Olympics village has been hit with COVID-19. The organisers, on Wednesday, revealed that 16 new COVID-19 cases have emerged that were associated with the event. They confirmed that one of them was an athlete.

Previously, the Tokyo Olympics organisers confirmed the first COVID infection of an athlete after competing at an event when Dutch rower Finn Florijn tested positive after finishing in his heat at the Games on Friday. 

The Czech Republic, the USA, Chile, South Africa and the Netherlands are among other contingents that have been hit by COVID-19 after landing in Tokyo. The Czech Republic is inquiring into possible health safety protocol violations by its contingent after four athletes tested positive and forced withdrawals from beach volleyball and road cycling events. 

The organisers are taking necessary steps to control the spread as they have mandated frequent testing, restricted movements and wearing masks by athletes. However, the athletes are allowed to briefly take off their masks on the podium for 30 seconds for a photo opportunity.

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