• REUTERS

  • SHARE

German cyclist Simon Geschke has withdrawn from Saturday's Tokyo Olympics road race after testing positive for COVID-19, his team said Friday.

Geschke was staying with the entire road race team at a hotel with teammates outside the Olympic village.

All 12 other German cyclists and team officials, who are also staying there during the Games, had previously tested negative and will undergo further tests.

"That is really bitter, to be taken out of the competition shortly before the race," the 35-year-old said. "I followed all the health rules as best as I could. Physically I feel good but emotionally this is a dark day for me."

Now all I have left is to wish the boys tomorrow a very strong race," he said.

His roommate, Emanuel Buchmann, who had previously tested negative, will undergo a further PCR test before being cleared to race.

Teammates Niklas  Arndt and  Maximilian Schachmann  are eligible to start, the team said.

This would have been Geschke's second Olympic Games after Rio de Janeiro, where he finished 13th in the time trial but did not finish the road race.

The Spanish team also suffered a COVID-19 scare on the eve of the 234 km race when a masseur tested positive for COVID-19, prompting a panicky bout of testing for the riders.

Jose Luis Lopez Cerron, president of the Spanish Cycling Federation, said the five-man team would start the race having given negative results."

They have confirmed to us that they can ride. We have received great news after the initial scare, we hope that our masseur is well," he told Spanish daily Marca.

Former world champion Alejandro Valverde will lead Spain's challenge for a medal on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Dutch rower Finn Florijn has been ruled out of the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19 in Tokyo, the Royal Dutch Rowing Federation (KNRB) said in a Twitter post Friday.

Florijn had finished in fourth in the sixth heat of the men's single sculls race earlier on Friday, which was not enough to progress to the quarterfinals as only the top two qualify directly.

However, the 21-year-old was scheduled to take part in the repechage race on Saturday, which gives competitors another chance to qualify. But he has gone into quarantine and will no longer participate in the Games, the KNRB said.

His case comes after a staff member of the Dutch rowing team, as well as two other Dutch athletes — taekwondo competitor Reshmie Oogink and skateboarder Candy Jacobs — also tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)