Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena assured that he has not been in close contact with American champion Sam Kendricks, who on Thursday returned a positive COVID-19 test.
Kendricks, as well as German Chiaraviglio of Argentina, have now been ruled out of the Tokyo Olympics. Members of the Australian team are also now in isolation after being in close contact with Kendricks.
But Obiena, who will open his Games campaign on Saturday, told Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN News that he will not be identified as a close contact of Kendricks.
Obiena told Castillejo that he has not seen the American and has not been training with him.
US Olympic officials confirmed Kendricks's positive test on Twitter.
Kendricks won the pole vault bronze in the Rio Olympics in 2016 and won the world championship in 2017 and 2019. His personal best of 6.06meters is a United States record, and tied for the fourth-best mark of all time.
Games procedures state that athletes who are contact-traced and have not yet competed are isolated from the rest of the squad. They then have to be tested six hours prior to their competition and return a negative result in order to compete.
The athletics program begins on Friday, with the pole vault qualifying event on Saturday. -- With a report from Reuters.
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