Kendricks won back-to-back gold medals at the 2017 and 2019 world championships and was one of the main contenders for the title in Tokyo along with Swedish world record holder Armand Duplantis
Two-time world pole vault champion Sam Kendricks was ruled out of the Tokyo Games on Thursday after testing positive for coronavirus, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee confirmed.
"We are saddened to confirm that Sam Kendricks tested positive for Covid-19 and will not compete in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020," the USOPC said in a statement on Twitter.
Shortly after news of Kendricks' case emerged, Argentine pole vaulter German Chiaraviglio revealed he had also tested positive and would not take part in the Games.
Kendricks won back-to-back gold medals at the 2017 and 2019 world championships and was one of the main contenders for the title in Tokyo along with Swedish world record holder Armand Duplantis.
The charismatic 28-year-old, a bronze medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is now in isolation, the USOPC said.
The star U.S. pole vaulter Sam Kendricks tested positive for Covid, ruling him out of the Olympics and sending the Australian track and field team into isolation. https://t.co/S3ZTi4khrc— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 29, 2021
"In alignment with local rules and protocols, he has been transferred to a hotel to be placed in isolation and is being supported by the USATF (USA Track and Field) and USOPC staff," the USOPC added.
"Sam is an incredible and accomplished member of Team USA and his presence will be missed. Out of respect for his privacy, we cannot provide more information at this time."
The positive tests come just two days before the start of the men's pole vault competition on Saturday.
Kendricks' father and coach, Scott Kendricks, had first announced his son's Covid test result earlier Thursday in an Instagram post that was subsequently deleted.
"Today in Tokyo officials informed Sam that his daily test for Cov 19 was positive," Scott Kendricks wrote. "So he is out of the competition. He feels fine and has no symptoms. Love you son. See you soon."
Later Thursday Chiaraviglio revealed the virus had also put paid to his Olympic campaign.
"We knew this Olympic game was different and with different rules, and here I am, it's my turn," the 34-year-old said.
Chiaraviglio said he was now isolating in a hotel.
"I am isolated in a hotel where I will spend several days, and where the main objective is to take care of my health," he said.
"I thank the people who were and are close and all those who sent me their message of love and affection. Living through this is very difficult, but it will also pass."