The UCI and Giro d’Italia organiser RCS Sport have announced that a staff member of the Astana team has tested positive for COVID-19 in an extra round of testing carried during the third week of the Corsa Rosa.
The UCI and RCS Sport confirmed that no riders tested positive. A total of 484 rapid saliva antigen tests were carried out on all the riders and staff of the 20 teams still in the race. A PCR swab test was carried out at the Giro d’Italia mobile lab and confirmed the result of the saliva test.
As per the UCI’s COVID-19 protocol, the Astana team doctor organised isolation measures and took necessary action, in compliance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) rules, concerning contact cases.
Astana has still to confirm the positive case and say if other staff members have been classified as close contact cases.
Simon Yates, Steven Kruijswijk and Michael Matthews all tested positive for COVID-19 along with four staff members from Mitchelton-Scott team and one from Ineos Grenadiers and AG2R La Mondiale early in the race.
Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and a staff member at AG2R La Mondiale left the race after testing positive for the coronavirus on the second rest day but their teams both took the start on Tuesday morning.
Race director Mauro Vegni was forced to defend the race’s coronavirus protocols after EF Pro Cycling sent a letter to the organiser asking for the race to be halted on the second rest day. EF Pro Cycling’s request was rejected by the UCI and the EF Pro Cycling riders prefered to race on.
News of the letter came hours after it emerged that 17 police motorbike officers from the Giro-E event, a corresponding electric bike event which precedes the arrival of the Giro every day, tested positive for COVID-19. The Giro-E event was subsequently cancelled.
The Giro d’Italia continued on Thursday with the 18th stage from Pinzolo to Laghi di Cancano via the Passo dello Stelvio.