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by Dane Cash
March 11, 2020
Photography by Cor Vos
The Gazprom-Rusvelo team has said in a social media post that Dmitry Strakhov, one of several riders quarantined in an Abu Dhabi hotel after the UAE Tour was called off amid coronavirus concerns, was told he tested positive for virus.
According to the team, the 24-year-old Russian was feeling fine but was hospitalized on Sunday upon registering the positive result.
“After passing the fifth test at the hotel, they told me that I have a positive result for coronavirus and I need to go to the hospital,” Strakhov said via the team’s post. “True, I did not see the results of the analyzes. The hospital conducted additional tests, took a blood test and promised to report the results in the near future.”
Strakhov, who joined Gazprom this year after riding with Katusha-Alpecin last season, is the first UAE Tour rider that a team has identified as having tested positive. The Abu Dhabi Ministry of Health and Prevention said last week that there were four riders among the coronavirus cases linked to the race, but only specified that two were Russian, one was Italian, and one was Colombian. It is unclear whether Strakhov is included in that number.
Only Gazprom and UAE-Team Emirates remain in quarantine. That relatively short list of racers has given rise to widespread speculation and reports in Colombian media that the lone Colombian among those two teams, Fernando Gaviria, has tested positive for coronavirus—but that remains unconfirmed as of yet. Gaviria’s UAE squad has not provided much in the way of communication since going into quarantine.
Gazprom has offered a handful of updates on the situation of its personnel, noting last week that its personnel had tested negative for coronavirus after multiple checks. Gazprom now says that three riders from the team have been hospitalized, but only Strakhov was identified as having returned a positive result, apparently in the latest of what have been several tests over the past two weeks.
Strakhov’s situation, and the ways in which any follow-up tests might change it, remain unclear for now.
“I’m waiting,” he said in the team’s statement. “I feel normal, I followed and continue to follow all safety measures, I hope that this situation will be resolved soon.”