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Olympic athletes fear domino effect as pole vaulters test positive for Covid

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Two pole vaulters, including the US world champion, Sam Kendricks, have tested positive for Covid-19 in the Olympic Village, raising concerns of a potential domino effect among athletes.

Kendricks’s father, Scott, broke the news on Instagram that his son had become the most high-profile athlete to test positive. Shortly afterwards another pole vaulter, the Argentinian Germán Chiaraviglio, revealed he was also out of the Games after a positive test.

All 63 of Australia’s track and field team were immediately confined to their room, but it was later announced they had all been cleared. No Team GB members are understood to be affected.

Last week, teams were warned that anyone testing positive would have to self-isolate for 14 days in a quarantine facility just outside the village before flying home.

On Instagram account, Scott Kendricks said: “He feels fine and has no symptoms. Love you son. See you soon.”

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The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee onfirmed that Kendricks, who was due to compete in the qualifying competition on Saturday, would miss the 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 USA Track and Field and USOPC staff,” it said. “Sam is an incredible and accomplished member of Team USA and his presence will be missed.”

Chiaraviglio, the South American champion, said on Instagram: “It is very hard to process something like that, it will surely take me a long time. We knew this Olympic game was different and with different rules, and here I am, it’s my turn.

“I am isolated in a hotel where I will spend several days, and where the main objective is to take care of my health. I thank the people who were and are close and all those who sent me their message of love and affection. Living this is very difficult, but it will also pass.”

Organisers confirmed there had been 24 more positive tests for Covid-19 among people in Japan who are accredited for the Games since 1 July, bringing the total to 198.

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