Banned star at centre of COVID scare tests negative

1 month ago 14
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United States pole vaulter Sam Kendricks says he has had four negative coronavirus tests, including one after the the positive result that briefly sent members of the Australian team into isolation.

Kendricks is out of the Tokyo Olympics after returning a positive test, a harsh reminder of the realities of these Games.

The 28-year-old won gold at both the 2017 and 2019 world titles, as well as a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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Noting that he's in "fine health", Kendricks posted a video on Instagram explaining his dilemma.

"I was all set to compete this Saturday at my second Olympic Games," he said.

US pole vaulter Sam Kendricks. (Getty)

"Sadly, today, I was removed from the competition due to a positive coronavirus test, despite having passed two (tests) at home and one in the airport on the way to Tokyo.

"I'm out."

Kendricks then showed the camera his COVID-19 test that he took after being moved to isolation, clearly revealing a negative result.

"The same self-test I took when I got to isolation - 10 days in isolation - it was a negative as well," he explained.

"But for the sake of protocols, the Japanese say I am out.

"I have no recourse, but to sit in isolation and watch the Olympics."

It comes as Tokyo confirms 3865 new infections, a record for a single day.

American pole vault star Sam Kendricks. (Getty)

Australia's athletes have been given the all-clear, after three casual contacts of Kendricks returned a negative test.

The pole vault gets underway on Saturday morning.

"I want you to know this, Team USA, you're my team," Kendricks said.

"I will always be rooting for the Red, White and Blue.

"My men in the pole vault. You're my friends, go have a great time, enjoy the Olympics.

"Miss me if you want, but I'll be on the road shortly after, to compete in every other event, and hopefully we'll all have fine, long careers.

"On a final note, my friend Matt Ludwig, fourth place at the United States Olympic trials, I would hope he would get on a plane soon and come compete in my stead."

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