Members of Australia’s athletics squad in the Tokyo Olympic Village have been cleared to return to their regular routines after earlier isolating in their rooms as a precautionary measure.
- Members of Australia’s athletics team were ordered to go into isolation
- United States pole vaulter Sam Kendricks tested positive and was ruled out of the Olympics
- The track and field program will begin tomorrow
The athletes were cleared after three members of the team underwent PCR testing following a brief casual contact with US pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, who had tested positive to COVID-19.
All three Australian athletes tested negative after undergoing a PCR test this afternoon, while teammates remained in their rooms in line with Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) COVID-19 protocols.
The three, who are all vaccinated, self-reported once they heard news of Kendricks testing positive late this morning.
They are in isolation and will be tested daily, while they are expected to compete in Tokyo as planned. The athletics program beginning tomorrow.
The AOC said the three athletes would be allowed to resume training, subject to strict protocols that restricts their contact with others.
The AOC said 41 athletes and 13 officials were given permission to leave their rooms at the village after spending a little over two hours in isolation.
“Once again, abundant caution and our strict protocols continue to keep the team safe,” AOC chef de mission Ian Chesterman said in a statement.
“We will continue to be very thorough in our observance of the Tokyo playbooks and our own additional measures.
“We want every Australian athlete to be in a position to have their Olympic moment. We will continue to be vigilant.”
The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee confirmed Kendricks, the current world champion, had tested positive to COVID-19.
“We are saddened to confirm that Sam Kendricks tested positive for COVID-19 and will not compete in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” the statement read.
“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.
“Sam is an incredible and accomplished member of Team USA and his presence will be missed.”
International Olympic Committee medical and scientific director Richard Budgett confirmed to the ABC that of 310,000 tests conducted at the Olympics so far, the rate of positives returned is 0.02 per cent.
“We had all sorts of modelling before the Games about the number of positives looking at something around 1 per cent, so actually it’s a far lower percentage than was being expected,” Dr Budgett said.
“It means each case can be managed in great detail. There’s lots of intricate work into actually making sure that you identify people who are potential close contacts, and they are isolated so we can stop the spread.
“We are going to get cases, as we are, [but] the great thing is to stop any outbreaks.”