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Russian Team Hit By COVID-19 Outbreak As Beijing Olympics Cases Climb

Skeleton silver medalist Nikita Tregubov and one of his teammates will miss the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing after contracting the coronavirus and other athletes are also in doubt, Russian officials said Monday.

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Olympic organizers have reported 119 cases of COVID-19 among athletes and personnel in the past four days, including 37 new cases on Sunday and 34 on Saturday, Reuters reported. A “closed-loop bubble” has been enforced to separate athletes, media and staff from the public, the wire service noted.

“Yesterday it became clear that there was no longer a chance of making it,” Tregubov wrote on Instagram. He said he felt fine and “everything to do with my health is good.”

Nikita Tregubov of Russia, pictured at a competition in December, is off the team after testing positive for COVID-19.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos via Getty Images

Tregubov and teammate Vladislav Semenov have been replaced on the team by other Russian sliders, Russian Bobsled Federation president Elena Anikina told state news agency Tass. She added that an unspecified number of other people from the team were “waiting for the results of tests” and will fly to Beijing later than planned “if they get negative results.”

Anikina didn’t name the athletes affected but two bobsledders from the same four-man crew reportedly tested positive last week.

Russian biathlete Valeria Vasnetsova tested positive twice after arriving in Beijing and is also out, Reuters noted.

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