USA's Sam Kendricks OUT of Tokyo after testing positive for Covid-19

Olympics hit by new Covid crisis as America’s star pole vaulter Sam Kendricks tests positive – briefly forcing the ENTIRE Australian track and field team into isolation

  • Sam Kendricks won’t participate in the Olympics after contracting coronavirus
  • The 28-year-old was a gold-medal favourite having won bronze in 2016
  • The American is a two-time reigning world champion but will now miss out 
  • Find out the latest Tokyo Olympic news including schedule, medal table and results right here

The Olympic Games were plunged into chaos this morning following the positive Covid test of a US pole vaulter – which sent the entire Australian track and field team into lockdown.

World champion Sam Kendricks, who was expected to compete for gold, became the most high-profile casualty at the competition so far. And his positive test has already had ramifications elsewhere. In an immediate, precautionary measure, all 63 athletes in the Australian group have been sent into isolation in their hotel rooms.

In what is a developing situation, other teams are now urgently checking to see if any of their athletes have come into contact with the 28-year-old American.

It is understood that competitors from various countries share the same buses to venues across Tokyo, which has triggered concerns outside of the US and Australia.

However, sources have disclosed that Team GB do not believe there has been any close contact with Kendricks by any of their athletes.

The Australians acted on the eve of competition in Japan, after their pole vaulter Kurtis Marschal had trained with Kendricks. The Commonwealth Games gold winner now faces an anxious wait for his own test results.

US pole vaulter Sam Kendricks will not be competing at Tokyo due to a positive Covid test

News of his test was revealed on Thursday by the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee

‘Members of Australia’s track and field team at the Tokyo Olympic Games are isolating in their rooms as a precautionary measure following news of a Covid positive finding with a member of the US track and field team,’ an Australian Olympic Committee statement read. 

‘Members of the Australian track and field team are now undergoing testing procedures in line with Australian Olympic team protocols.’

Kendricks won bronze in Rio and is the reigning world champion. He was set to go head-to-head with Sweden’s Mondo Dulantis, the world record holder, on Tuesday (August 3) in an eagerly-awaited contest. However, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee confirmed his exit in a statement released this morning. 

It read: ‘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 Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

‘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.’ 

The 28-year-old won pole vaulting bronze in Rio and is the double reigning world champion

Kendricks’ father and long-time coach, Scott Kendricks, wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post that his son ‘feels fine and has no symptoms’. Kendricks is the third Team USA athlete to be ruled out thanks to Covid-19. 

Beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb tested positive following his arrival in Japan while gymnast Kara Eaker also tested positive while in-country. There have now been 193 cases linked with the Games since July 1.

Meanwhile, 10 Nigerian athletes have been declared ineligible for the Olympics by the Athletics Integrity Unit and ruled out of the Games. The group, who are thought to already be in the country, were not tested rigorously enough in the build-up, the AIU ruled. 

That figure represents more than 40 per cent of Nigeria’s track and field team. Three Ukrainians, three from Belarus and one from both Morocco and Ethiopia have also fallen foul of the ruling.

All 63 members of the Australian Olympic athletics team have been forced into self-isolation after Kendricks tested positive for Covid-19

Australian pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall is believed to be the only member of the Australian team classed as a close contact of the US athlete

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