Sprinter Fernando Gaviria has been ruled out of UAE Team Emirates' home stage race, the UAE Tour, after testing positive for Covid-19.
The Colombian will miss out on the chance to continue strong early-season form at the seven-stage event.
Gaviria took two stage victories at the Tour of Oman but has now contracted the virus for a third time.
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The Emirati team have opted for a like-for-like replacement in German Pascal Ackermann, an off-season addition from Bora-Hansgrohe.
"As per the pre-race protocol, Gaviria underwent a PCR test which returned a positive result while at home in Monaco before departing to the UAE Tour," Dr. Adrian Rotunno, the Medical Director of UAE Team Emirates, said.
"He is feeling well and undergoing his mandatory isolation period and will aim to return to training following further tests."
Gaviria, a seven-time Grand Tour stage winner, spent a month in hospital in Abu Dhabi after first contracting Covid at the heavily-disrupted 2020 edition of the UAE Tour.
UAE Team Emirates will be led by defending champion Tadej Pogacar at their home race after the Slovenian star was cleared to race after his own Covid-19 isolation.
A strong sprinting field should be present with plenty of opportunities across the seven stages as the 2022 UCI World Tour gets underway.
Sam Bennett makes his 2022 season debut after returning to Bora-Hansgrohe, while former Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl teammate Mark Cavendish will look to add to his own victory in Oman last week.
Elia Viviani and Dylan Groenewegen will also hope to contend after off-season switches to Ineos Grenadiers and Team Bike-Exchange respectively.
Stage One begins and ends in the town of Madinat Zayed on 20 February.
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