Reigning world champion and Team USA pole vaulter Sam Kendricks is out of the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee confirmed in a statement Thursday.
"The health and safety of our athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority. We are saddened to confirm that Sam Kendricks tested positive for COVID-19 and will not compete in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020," USOPC tweeted. "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 USATF and USOPC staff.
"Sam is an incredible and accomplished member of Team USA and his presence will be missed. Out of respect for his privacy, we cannot provide more information at this time."
According to USA Today, Scott Kendricks, Sam's father and longtime coach, wrote in a since-deleted post that his son "feels fine and has no symptoms."
Following the positive test result, all 63 of Australia's Olympic athletes were placed in isolation, according to Yonette Joseph of The New York Times. However, the Australian athletes were later cleared to resume normal activities after the three athletes who were in contact with Kendricks tested negative, per USA Today's Tom Schad.
The 28-year-old won bronze in 2016 Rio and was a favorite to medal again in Tokyo. Even though Kendricks is the reigning world champion, Sweden's Mondo Duplantis has since broken the world record.
The pole vaulter is also a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.
Kendricks is not the first Team USA member pulled from the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19. Beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb was ruled out after arriving in Japan while Kara Eaker, an alternate gymnast, also tested positive. Meanwhile, tennis star Coco Gauff withdrew after testing positive prior to departing for the Games.
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