Tokyo Olympics: World champion pole-vaulter Sam Kendricks tests positive for coronavirus

Reports suggest members of Australia’s athletics team have been forced into isolation as close contacts of Kendricks one day before the track and field programme begins

Mark Staniforth
Thursday 29 July 2021 06:37
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US pole vaulter Sam Kendricks has tested positive for coronavirus (Martin Rickett/PA)
US pole vaulter Sam Kendricks has tested positive for coronavirus (Martin Rickett/PA)

American pole-vaulter Sam Kendricks has been ruled out of the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for coronavirus, the United States Olympic Committee has confirmed.

Kendricks, the reigning world champion who won bronze at the Rio Games in 2016, has left the Olympic Village and been transferred to a quarantine facility in the Japanese capital.

The USOC said in a statement: “The health and safety of our athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority. We are saddened to confirm that Sam Kendricks tested positive for Covid-19 and will not compete in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

“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.

“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.”

Unconfirmed reports stated a number of athletes, including members of the Australian track and field team, have been placed in isolation as close contacts.

Sam Kendricks is in a quarantine facility in the Japanese capital (Martin Rickett/PA)

Kendricks is the latest American athlete to test positive in Tokyo, after beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb and gymnastics alternate Kara Eaker.

Officials confirmed on Friday that three athletes are among the 24 positive tests recorded among Olympic-related personnel, taking the total number affected since 1 July to 198.

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