Powell to miss entire Olympics Sevens due to COVID

Powell to miss entire Olympics Sevens due to COVID

South Africa Sevens head coach Neil Powell has tested positive for COVID-19, and is going into isolation for 14 days. This means that Powell will be missing the entire Sevens tournament at the Olympics.

Powell will continue to help the side 'virtually' through a computer screen, and will liaise with assistant coach Renfred Dazel on match-day.

"We are all still in good spirits and understand that we can't change those things we can't control," said Dazel.

"We did manage to add some fun elements into the adjusted training schedule and that certainly helped."

Team South Africa’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Phatho Zondi added: 

"Every member of Team South Africa required full medical clearance as an eligibility criteria," Zondi said in a statement.

"In addition, they were encouraged to isolate for two weeks pre-departure, monitor health daily, report any symptoms, and produce two negative nasopharyngeal PCR tests taken within 96 hours of departure, as per Tokyo 2020 requirements.

"The timing of the positive results suggests that the PCR test in these individuals was done during the incubation period of the infection, which is how they could be negative in South Africa and then positive in Japan.

"They are now in isolation where they will continue to be monitored and will not be allowed to train or have any physical contact with the rest of the squad(s)."

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