Olympics-Germany’s road race team face anxious wait after Geschke’s positive COVID test

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Tour de France
FILE PHOTO: Cycling – Tour de France – Stage 16 – La Tour-du-Pin to Villard-de-Lans – France – September 15, 2020. CCC Team rider Simon Geschke of Germany finishes. Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

July 24, 2021

(Corrects doctor’s name to Wolfarth from Wolfahrt)

By Karolos Grohmann

TOKYO (Reuters) -Germany’s entire road race team are still in a state of uncertainty at the Tokyo Games following cyclist Simon Geschke’s positive COVID-19 test, team officials said on Saturday.

The 35-year-old, who has been vaccinated twice and was due to compete in Saturday’s road race, has been isolated but questions remain over the other eight team members — four men and four women — who were all staying at the same hotel, away from the Olympic village.

“From these 12 individuals (including staff members) who were considered close contact, who will remain at the end will become clear during the day,” Germany’s team doctor Bernd Wolfarth said on Saturday.

Geschke will remain in isolation for the next 10 days.

His roommate, Emanuel Buchmann, had also been isolated overnight but was cleared for Saturday’s road race after having a PCR test before competing.

“This morning at 0300 he went into isolation,” Wolfarth said. “This morning at 0500 he tested negative and at 0800 he was driven to the start,” the medic said.

Under Games rules athletes who are considered close contacts to a positive case must test negative six hours before their competition in order to be cleared to start.

“It is clear it was no ideal competition preparation for him. But basically in the current situation it’s safety first,” he said.

He said Geschke may have contracted the virus prior to his arrival in Japan, having arrived on Tuesday and testing positive for the first time on Thursday.

“Incubation time is about five days,” Wolfarth said. “It is unlikely to have happened in Japan.”

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Peter Rutherford)