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The first American athlete expected to compete in the Tokyo Summer Olympics has tested positive for the coronavirus in Japan.
USA Volleyball confirmed to NPR that a team member tested positive and was transferred to a hotel.
The team does not confirm the athlete’s identity, although it was widely reported in local Southern California media that it was male beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb.
Teams of two play beach volleyball at the Olympics. Crabb, 29, and his partner, Jake Gibb, are scheduled to play their first game early Sunday morning ET, against a pair of Italians.
The positive test makes it unlikely that Crabb will be able to play.
“When it comes to a potential replacement, there is a protocol for an alternative athlete to join the team,” USA Volleyball said. “We are working through this process.”
Crabb was preparing to make his Olympic debut. Gibb, 45, has competed in three other Games. Last month, the pair secured their spot in Tokyo.
Crabb’s brother Trevor, who is also a professional beach volleyball player, told a local NBC affiliate he thought the situation was “terrible”. He said Crabb is “doing well and in good health and should be allowed to play in my personal opinion”.
It is not known what the positive test means for Gibb. COVID-19 protocols for the Games leave the door open for officials to determine on a case-by-case basis whether close contact of a positive case can contribute.
American gymnastics substitute Kara Eaker has also tested positive in Japan, although she is not expected to compete in the Games. American tennis star Coco Gauff tested positive while still in the United States