US tennis star Gauff withdraws from Olympics after testing positive for Covid

US tennis star Coco Gauff has been forced to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19.

Gauff, 17, was set to play in her first Games but is another athlete who has pulled out of the tournament.

Johanna Konta had to withdraw after testing positive and Serena Williams, Sofia Kenin and Madison Keys also won't feature after opting out of the event which has strict Covid restrictions.

The athletes are not allowed to reside anywhere but hotels, Olympic venues or training grounds.

Gauff wrote on social media: "I'm disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and won't be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future.

"I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family."

This is just the latest Covid blip for organisers who have been widely criticised for going ahead with the event amid the pandemic.

On Sunday Team GB athletes had to self-isolate after learning they were on a flight with a member of the public who subsequently tested positive.

The stars, along with staff members, must now pass two PCR tests in 48 hours to be able to be around other athletes once again.

It has not been revealed who the people are who have to isolate but is is understood that Laura Muir, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Dina Asher-Smith are not affected.

Mark England, Team GB’s Chef de Mission, said: “This is disappointing news for the athletes and staff but we absolutely respect the protocols in place.

“We will offer them every support during this period and we are hopeful that they will be able to resume training again soon.”

Two South African footballers, Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi, also tested positive and are in isolation.

The cases have sent shockwaves through the Olympic camp as the Games officially open on Friday.

But the Tokyo 2020 president, Seiko Hashimoto, has assured athletes there is a plan in place for incidents.

“We know there is no such thing as zero-risk but at the same time the mingling and crossing of populations is very limited. With all the measures that are in place, we keep the risk to an absolute minimum level.

“What we have done since cases have appeared at the airport and in the Village is make sure they are ring-fenced, tested and do not provide a risk.”

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