The Czech Olympic team received sharp words from their Prime Minister on Thursday as six athletes and officials on the same flight to Tokyo tested positive for coronavirus. Prime Minister Andrej Babis called the situation “a scandal” as beach volleyball player Marketa Nausch Slukova and street cyclist Michal Schlegel tested positive in the Olympic Village. They took the tally of Covid-hit athletes in the Czech team to four, while two other staff also tested positive.
“I don’t like this one bit. I don’t know how it could happen,” Babis told reporters.
Nausch Slukova’s Austrian coach and husband Simon Nausch tested positive earlier this week at the side of another beach volleyball player, Ondrej Perusic, and table tennis hope Pavel Sirucek.
Czech Olympic team doctor Vlastimil Voracek tested positive on arrival in Tokyo. Czech Olympic Committee spokesman Tibor Alfoldi confirmed to AFP that each one five were on the same flight.
Schlegel’s positive test used to be confirmed later on Thursday. The cyclist also arrived on the same plane.
Nausch Slukova’s positive test rules her and teammate Barbora Hermannova out of the Olympics.
“I have no idea what to say, I’m terribly disappointed,” Nausch Slukova, who used to be fifth at London 2012 with Kristyna Kolocova, said in a observation.
“We retain persuading people to receive vaccinated, and the doctor used to be not vaccinated. It’s unfair to the athletes above all,” Prime Minister Babis said.
Olympic team head Martin Doktor said the Czech Olympic Committee had launched a probe into the Covid cluster.
“The situation is serious but since the problem emerged, we have done our best to stop the spread,” said Doktor.
“Unfortunately, we could not steer clear of sporting tragedies. I’m terribly sorry,” he added.
David Travnicek, head of the Sport Invest agency representing Nausch Slukova, did not mince his words.
“The incredibly underestimated logistics are pure amateurism in our eyes,” he said. “This can be a failure of the person in charge of the constitution flight, not of the people on board.”
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