(Reuters) – The 22 teams will start the 10th stage of the Tour de France after their riders tested negative for COVID-19, organizers told Reuters on Tuesday, adding that four staff members had returned positive tests.
French health authorities and organizers Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) had said that if two members of a team, runners or staff, tested positive for the new coronavirus, the entire outfit would be excluded from the race.
But organizers told Reuters those who tested positive came from different teams, meaning all could line up for the start of the stage at 11:30 GMT.
Organizers also said race director Christian Prudhomme tested positive.
All team members, riders and staff had until 11:00 GMT on Monday, the Tour’s first rest day, to take a test in the mobile lab made available by the organizers.
Four staff from the Lotto Soudal team left the Tour two days before the start after two of them returned positive tests for COVID-19.
Slovenian Primoz Roglic is the general leader of the race ahead of defending champion Egan Bernal of Colombia, who is heading to stage 10, a pan-flat race from Ile d’Oléron Le Château-d’Oléron to the island of Ré Saint-Martin-de-Ré.
France has recorded nearly 31,000 deaths from the virus since the start of the pandemic, according to a Reuters tally.
Report by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru and Julien Pretot; Edited by Gareth Jones and Hugh Lawson
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