Four staff members of Australian rider Caleb Ewan's Lotto-Soudal team were sent away from the Tour de France after two of them tested positive for coronavirus.
"After a PCR test, specific to SARS-Cov-2, revealed two non-negative cases, Team Lotto-Soudal decided to send home two staff people, as well as their roommates. Safety remains priority number one," the Belgium-based Lotto-Soudal said.
The team members are a mechanic and a caretaker.
Lotto Soudal told Reuters they would be quickly replaced as almost all their staff had been undergoing regular coronavirus tests, meaning they can enter the Tour "bubble" quickly.
Organisers had said that should two members of a team test positive for coronavirus, the outfit would be excluded from the race, but sources told Reuters on Thursday there was a new rulebook that did not mention that specific measure.
Organisers said the team were not excluded from the Tour, which starts on Saturday night AEST.
Ewan has a good chance of wearing the first yellow jersey of the race as the opening stage is expected to finish in a mass sprint.
Team staff and riders are tested six and three days before the start of the three-week long race.