PARIS (Reuters) - Two positive coronavirus cases within a week for a Tour de France team will result in the outfit being kicked out of the event starting on Aug. 29, the race organisers said on Friday.
“If a team has two positive cases or (members) with strong symptoms within a seven-day period, they will be out of the race,” Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) said in a statement to Reuters.
Earlier, sports directors who will be on the event running until Sept. 20 confirmed a report by cycling website Velonews that the race would be over for teams who are found to have two infected members in their ranks.
“The measure was announced to us at the Criterium du Dauphine,” one sports director, who declined to be named because he is not authorised to discuss the matter, told Reuters.
The Criterium du Dauphine is also organised by ASO, who used the week-long race earlier this month as a dress rehearsal for the Tour de France.
Riders and team staff will be in a bubble from the day they arrive in Nice ahead of the Grand Depart on Saturday.
They will be tested for the coronavirus twice before the race starts, and a mobile testing lab will be at their disposal.
Tour director Christian Prudhomme told Reuters on Thursday that a rider testing positive for the coronavirus would be required to isolate, along with his room mate, but that it would not lead to the race being abandoned.
France has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases recently, although the number of hospitalised people has remained stable.
On Friday, AG2r-la Mondiale said that American rider Larry Warbasse had tested positive for the coronavirus, leading the French team to pull the three riders who were in contact with him from the Tour du Limousin.
None of them were scheduled to ride the Tour de France.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Hugh Lawson
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