Aussie athletics team embroiled in Covid scare at Tokyo Olympics

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Australia's track and field team at the Tokyo Olympics has been sent into lockdown after am American competitor returned a positive coronavirus test. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images for IAAF)
Australia's track and field team at the Tokyo Olympics has been sent into lockdown after am American competitor returned a positive coronavirus test. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images for IAAF)

The Australian track and field team was sent into lockdown in the athletes' village at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday amid fears of a potential coronavirus outbreak.

Athletes are believed to have been ordered back to their rooms while some were in the midst of training for competition, with track and field events scheduled to begin on Friday.

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All 63 members of the team were ordered into isolation.

“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,” the Australian Olympic Committee said in a statement on Thursday.

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

Channel 7's Chris Reason called it "disturbing and worrying news".

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The Australian Olympic team's concern developed after American pole vault hopeful Sam Kendricks tested positive for Covid-19 earlier on Thursday.

Kendricks' father and coach, Scott, posted and then deleted an announcement on Instagram, but a short time later the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee confirmed the unfortunate news.

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"We are saddened to confirm that Sam Kendricks tested positive for COVID-19 and will not compete in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020," the USOPC tweeted

"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."

Aussie close contacts test negative

Three members of the Australian team later returned negative Covid-19 tests after having contact with Kendricks.

The Australian athletes - all of whom were vaccinated - underwent tests after self-reporting casual contact with Kendricks.

"The three team members tested this afternoon are now in isolation and will be tested daily," the Australian Olympic Committee said in a statement.

"They will be allowed to resume training, subject to strict protocols that restricts their contact with others.

"At this stage all athletes are expected to compete as planned."

The other members of the team have been given the all-clear to resume normal duties after spending two hours in isolation.

With Yahoo Sport US and AAP

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