Athletics Ireland confirm positive Covid case in team that returned from Poland

Close contacts of athlete are now self-isolating for 10 days

A view of the Covid testing facility at the Torun Arena in Poland for the European Indoor Championships. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

A view of the Covid testing facility at the Torun Arena in Poland for the European Indoor Championships. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Athletics Ireland have confirmed that a member of the Irish team returned a positive test for Covid-19 on Thursday morning after competing at the European Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland at the weekend.

As a result, all team members have been personally contacted and close contacts of the positive case in the travelling party are now self-isolating for a period of 10 days, from last Monday, in line with public health guidelines.

Athletics Ireland is liaising with all relevant authorities to manage this matter and continues to follow all protocols as agreed with the Sport Ireland Expert Advisory Group and the HSE.

Athlete Darragh McElhinney was a late withdrawal from the team after the 3,000m runner returned a “weak positive” prior to departure, despite several negative tests either side of it.

The entire British athletics squad have been also forced to self-isolate after a member of the support staff returned a positive lateral flow test for Covid-19.

British Athletics confirmed the 46-strong squad, who won a total of 12 medals at the Championships, must undertake a period of 10 days in isolation in line with UK government guidance.

Despite strict protocols, all competing athletes required to test negative upon arriving in Poland and again in Torun, as well as submitting to further tests every five days, several positives cases impacted on events.

Poland’s men’s 4x400m squad, fancied to win gold, had to withdraw following an outbreak , and Belgian sprinter Eline Berings also criticised the testing procedure after she was forced to withdraw from the semi-finals of the 60 metres, claiming it was due to a false positive.

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