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by Dane Cash
March 12, 2020
Photography by Cor Vos
Confirming what has been rumored for more than a week, Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) says that he tested positive for coronavirus while in quarantine following the stoppage of the UAE Tour.
The 25-year-old Colombian shared the news in a video posted to his Instagram account, confirming what has been rumored for several days.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Health and Prevention announced more than a week ago that one Colombian rider linked to the UAE Tour had tested positive for coronavirus. As the only Colombian on a team still in quarantine, Gaviria was widely assumed to be that rider, but with scant communication from UAE-Team Emirates, the cycling world was left to speculate until Thursday’s social media post.
“Hello everyone. I know that there have been many rumors circulating in regard to my state of health, but I’m fine,” Gaviria said. “I’ve been here, undergoing regular tests, which have given me a positive result for the coronavirus, but I’m feeling fine. Thank you to my team and to everyone at the hospital who have looked after me to perfection.”
Thursday marks two weeks since Gaviria and the rest of the UAE Tour peloton, as well as media and organizational staff, were put into lockdown following the announcement that two team staff members had tested positive for coronavirus. Media reports suggested that the first two cases were among the UAE-Team Emirates squad, which remained in Abu Dhabi in quarantine – as did three other teams – after most of the rest of the people involved with the race were allowed to leave.
Since then, health authorities have announced more cases involved with the race but provided little other information. Groupama-FDJ and Cofidis were cleared to leave their hotels on Sunday, while Gazprom-Rusvelo and UAE-Team Emirates remain in quarantine.
Earlier this week, Dmitry Strakhov of Gazprom was the first rider to be identified by his team as having tested positive, and now Gaviria is the second.
Both riders have said they are feeling okay, but have been hospitalized following their positive tests.
“I’m here to avoid infecting others and spreading this in the way it has been going,” Gaviria said. “This is to assure everyone that everything is going well. Let’s hope everything gets resolved soon.”