March 1, 2020 / 2:27 PM / 4 months ago

Cycling: Froome among riders cleared to leave UAE after coronavirus scare

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - UAE Tour - Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 23, 2020 Team Ineos' Chris Froome before the race REUTERS/Satish Kumar Subramani/File Photo

(Reuters) - Chris Froome and his fellow Team Ineos riders are among those who have been allowed to leave their hotel and travel home from the canceled UAE Tour following a coronavirus scare, the team said on Sunday.

The final two stages of the UAE Tour, which featured some of the world’s leading riders, was called off on Thursday because two Italian participants had tested positive for coronavirus.

Authorities said on Saturday that the first 167 tests for the virus had come back negative but there have been no further updates. Some 600 riders, staff and members of the media were tested.

"All our riders and staff (are) now leaving UAE after being given the all clear," Team Ineos posted on Twitter here on Sunday. "Thank you to all those who have helped us and looked after the team over recent days."

Team Jumbo-Visma and Israel-Start Up Nation squad also confirmed that their riders and staff had left the UAE.

Despite receiving the green light to travel home, Team UAE-Emirates decided to extend their stay in Abu Dhabi and go home “only with the safety of non-contagion”.

"In the context of this global emergency, the main goal is the safety of all of us and our family members," Team UAE-Emirates, who are funded by the gulf nation, said in a statement here

“In light of some known cases of flu within our group and other teams, we will be tested again in the next few days and once the situation has improved, riders and staff will return to their families.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon

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