Sam Kendricks has been ruled out of the pole vault at the Tokyo Olympic Games after testing positive for Covid-19.
The world champion, and bronze medalist from Rio, was strongly fancied for gold in Tokyo.
However, his dreams of Olympic glory have been dashed after he returned a positive coronavirus test.
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“Per the USOPC's announcement, U.S. pole vaulter Sam Kendricks has tested positive for Covid-19 and is therefore ineligible to compete at the Tokyo Games,” read a statement from United States Athletics. “He and his close contacts were immediately notified and protocols were activated to isolate the athlete.
“We are following the USOPC and TOCOG's guidance on next steps to ensure the safety of the remainder of our delegation, and to offer support to Sam.”
The 28-year-old’s absence comes on the same day as the entire Australian squad was put into isolation on account of Kendricks’ positive test.
The Herald Sun has reported that Australian vaulter Kurtis Marschall had been training with Kendricks - which has resulted in the entire athletics squad being sent into isolation.
Kendricks’ father took to Instagram to say that his son has no symptoms, that they are not worried about him and that the ‘rigid’ system has denied the vaulter a shot at gold.
“Bad news for our son,” wrote Scott Kendricks. “Sam is disqualified from Olympic competition because the Japanese officials say he is positive for Cov-19. Sam isn’t sick and we aren’t worried about him. The testing system is very rigid over there. The Japanese officials won’t allow for another PCR test for 6 days so the competition will be over.”
With Kendricks ruled out, world record holder Armand Duplantis is hot favourite for gold on Tuesday, August 3.

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