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Tokyo Olympics: South Africa rugby coach tests Covid positive on arrival

Tegla Loroupe, chief of mission for the IOC's Refugee Olympic Team, has also contracted the virus
Tokyo Olympics begin on July 23.

Our Bureau   |   Published 18.07.21, 07:59 PM

South Africa’s Sevens rugby coach Neil Powell has tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Japan and is in isolation in Kagashima, Games officials confirmed on Sunday.

Two players and a team official of South Africa's soccer squad (defender Thabiso Monyane and winger Kamohelo Mahlatsi and video analyst Mario Masha) also tested positive earlier on Sunday.


"Every member of Team South Africa required full medical clearance as eligibility criteria. In addition, they were encouraged to isolate for two weeks pre-departure, monitor health daily, report any symptoms, and produce two negative nasopharyngeal PCR tests taken within 96 hours of departure, as per Tokyo 2020 requirements. The timing of the positive results suggests that the PCR test in these individuals was done during the incubation period of the infection, which is how they could be negative in South Africa and then positive in Japan. They are now in isolation where they will continue to be monitored and will not be allowed to train or have any physical contact with the rest of the squad(s)," the team's chief medical officer Phatho Zondi was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Refugee Team head tests positive

Former distance runner Tegla Loroupe, the chief of mission for the IOC's Refugee Olympic Team, has tested positive for Covid-19, two people with knowledge of her condition have told The Associated Press. Loroupe tested positive before the team was to depart its Doha, Qatar, training base for Tokyo.

The team has delayed its arrival in Tokyo where the Olympics open on Friday because of Loroupe's positive test. Team members are expected to start departing in the next few days, but Loroupe is expected to stay behind, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because they weren't authorized to reveal medical information.

The International Olympic Committee issued a statement several days ago and said only that an unnamed "official" returned a positive test in the Refugee Team delegation. It said the 26 athletes in Doha and other officials had tested negative.

Loroupe's positive test is one in a long line of athletes, team officials, and others who have tested positive for COVID-19, in and around the Tokyo Olympics that are to open on Friday after being delayed a year by the pandemic. Tokyo organizers confirmed on Sunday that two athletes staying in the Olympic Village had tested positive. They are the first athletes in the village to be reported positive.


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