Republican Senator Roger Wicker says he wants a Covid-positive athlete to compete, and railed against safety procedures at Tokyo Olympics. In a statement, he claimed that one of the athletes, who tested positive for Covid, was “almost certainly a false positive.”

Sam Kendricks from Mississippi, was preparing to compete in the men’s pole vault, but has since been blocked from the competition after receiving a positive test result. Wicker was outraged at the decision as the ‘injustice’ is something “can still be rectified if the Olympic Committee will be fair.”

The Senator said Kendricks’ disqualification “may very well have been a fluke” after thousands of tests are administered daily. He also added that Kendricks has had Covid before “and should be immune.”

Wicker said: “I am outraged, outraged that a young athlete is unfairly missing out on his chance to show his talent to the world and win a gold medal on behalf of his country.”

The International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams has since spoken out. In Friday’s press conference, he explained that every athlete is treated the same. “I can’t talk about the individual case, but that’s what happens in all cases,” he said.

“He and everyone else will be subject to the same strict protocols because it’s important to give everyone confidence. And for obvious reasons, we can’t make exceptions for individuals. Everyone has to follow the rules, I’m afraid.”

Some people were upset the six-time outdoor national champion wouldn’t be able to compete, with one Twitter user calling it the “saddest news” in weeks.

While many others thought the ban was the right decision as one user highlighted: “The safety of other athletes is more important than any one person’s shot at a medal.”

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)