South Africa’s Olympic 400 metres champion Wayde van Niekerk tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy last week, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
Van Niekerk, who romped to Olympic gold four years ago in a world record time of 43.03 seconds, was set to participate in a meet in Trieste – his first competition outside of South Africa since 2017 following a serious knee injury.
“I don’t know how it’s possible,” the 28-year-old’s manager Peet Van Zyl told the publication.
“Wayde has been training for the whole week and never had any symptom, not even after testing positive.
“He hasn’t had a fever.”
— Wayde van Niekerk (@WaydeDreamer) July 21, 2020
Van Niekerk, who tore his right anterior cruciate ligament while playing a charity touch rugby game in 2017 to leave his career in doubt, began his comeback in February.
The timing is unfortunate, with the lucrative six-meeting Diamond League set to resume in a fortnight.
The rescheduled Diamond League resumes at Monaco on August 14, before Stockholm, Lausanne, Brussels and Rome, and concluding at Doha on October 9.
Two weeks until #DiamondLeague action commences💎
Mark your calendar with all the of the key dates 📆 pic.twitter.com/shZtSiL9Pw
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) July 31, 2020