“We cried, then we swore, then we cried again,” said Sluková-Nausch, whose positive test also rules his playing partner Hermannová out of the Games.
“I just hope no other athlete follows us, because I think something like that is a nightmare for any athlete, for any Olympian, who goes so far, so close to Olympic competition,” said added Sluková-Nausch.
Later Thursday, a sixth member of the Czech team – cyclist Michal Schlegel – tested positive, according to the Czech Olympic Committee (COC), which opened an investigation into the alleged violation of Covid-19 rules on a flight charter from Prague to Tokyo at the end of last week.
Simon Nausch, who is Sluková-Nausch’s coach and husband, also tested positive on Tuesday.
“I know a lot of much worse things are happening in the world right now, but honestly, in our own sporting micro-world, the world we have lived in and in which we now live, it’s extremely sad for Bára [Barbora Hermannova] and I that our trip to Tokyo, the trip that was to be a climax, had to end in this way, ”Sluková-Nausc said in a statement provided to CNN by his representative.
Tokyo was to be the third Games for Sluková-Nausch and the second for Hermannová. The pair were scheduled to open the women’s Olympic beach volleyball tournament against Japan on Saturday, July 24.
“It hurts terribly”
Following a report from Czech online news site Seznam Zpravy, the COC confirmed that the first member of the Czech delegation to Tokyo to test positive for the virus was one of the team’s medics, Vlastimil Voracek.
Voracek tested positive after the team arrived in Tokyo. His previous test, carried out the day before leaving for Tokyo, was negative.
Following a report in Czech media that he had not been vaccinated against Covid-19 despite his vaccine eligibility and despite the fact that the COCe “strongly encouraged” all participants to be vaccinated, Voracek issued a statement in which he denied breaking the rules. .
“The organizers stipulated their rules for the athletes and those accompanying them. The vaccination was voluntary,” he said in a statement quoted by the official Czech news agency CTK.
Voracek traveled to Tokyo from Prague on a special chartered flight last week. Five other passengers on the flight, including four Czech athletes, have since tested positive for the virus.
Voracek’s statement came just as the COC announced that cyclist Schlegel had tested positive for Covid-19 and will not be able to participate in his race.
The result of the COC’s investigation into the alleged violation of Covid-19 rules on a charter flight from Prague to Tokyo will be released within 14 days.
Sluková-Nausch said she discovered she had traveled on a flight with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 right after arriving in Tokyo.
“I have been tested about eight times in the last 24 hours, some results were positive, some were ambiguous, some were negative, but unfortunately the final verdict is that I tested positive and that means we will not be able to not play in the tournament, ”added the 33-year-old.
“It hurts terribly and I haven’t dealt with this whole situation yet and I don’t know how to handle it all.”
The 33-year-old is the fifth member of the Czech Olympic team to test positive alongside Pavel Širuček and beach volleyball player Ondřej Perušič.
Filip Neusser, chairman of the Czech National Sports Agency, the government body responsible for funding sport, criticized the COC and said the investigation should not be carried out by the committee itself.
“I have already agreed to this with [the Czech health minister] Adam Vojtech, the investigation should be led by experts from the Center for Disease Control, ”Neusser said in a Tweet.
David Trávníček, director of Sport Invest Marketing, the agency that represents Nausch Sluková and other athletes, said the situation was extremely disappointing and blamed the Czech Olympic Committee for it.
“I am extremely disappointed with the situation of the whole team, whose five years of hard work and effort have come to nothing.
“The way the infection happened is absolutely incomprehensible to me,” added Trávníček.