Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia: Astana staffer tests positive for COVID-19

A staffer from Astana recorded a positive COVID-19 test as part of 484 controls this week. No riders tested positive for the virus in this most recent round of testing.

A staff member from Team Astana has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Giro d’Italia after the race carried out an extra round of saliva antigen controls this week.

The news was announced Thursday morning by race and UCI officials.

The race carried out 484 saliva tests as part of an extra round of testing introduced by RCS in agreement with the UCI, and no riders recorded positive tests during this round. The Astana staffer in question was administered a PCR swab test to confirm the result of the salivary test. Afterward, the staffer was placed into isolation by team doctors as outlined by World Health Organization protocols.

The news marks the latest COVID-19 headline at the 2020 Giro d’Italia, which was rocked earlier in the race by a wave of positive tests inside the peloton. British rider Simon Yates recorded a positive test at the end of the first week and left the race. Subsequent testing during the race’s first rest day revealed multiple positive results, including riders Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma). Those controls led to the Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma teams abandoning the race.

Earlier this week, Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria of UAE-Team Emirates left the race after recording a positive test, his second bout with the illness in 2020. A staffer from the team also went into isolation after testing positive on the Giro’s second rest day. UAE-Team Emirates has continued in the race with seven riders.

Astana has yet to comment on the positive result. The squad took the start line for Thursday’s stage 18 from Pinzolo to Laghi di Cancano.