Covid-19 contaminations are on the rise again, and the world of sport is naturally affected. With this seventh wave which is currently affecting France and the whole of Europe, several competitions are affected with series packages of participants. From the Grande Boucle to the lawn of Wimbledon via summer rugby tours, here is what the consequences are for the sporting world.
Tour de France: the French champion drafted, positive cases not necessarily excluded
“Boarding a crowded plane for the big departure when 90% of the passengers are not wearing a mask. First stress test. “Even before having set foot in Copenhagen, capital of Denmark from where the Tour de France starts on Friday, Romain Bardet is already worried and makes it known on Twitter. Like his colleagues in the peloton, the Frenchman from DSM training fears contamination with Covid-19.
The Quick-Step Alpha Vynil formation, which did not retain the darling of the French Julian Alaphilippe for the three weeks of racing, has already been forced to modify its plans. The Belgian team finally selected the recent champion of France, Florian Sénéchal, to compensate for the positive test of the Belgian Tim Declerq. After a Tour of Switzerland where around forty riders had thrown in the towel due to Covid-19, the teams are taking their precautions. The French team Groupama-FDJ announced on Tuesday that “in view of the health situation”, the press conference before departure would take place by videoconference.
Faced with the prospect of a wave of withdrawals, the rules of the event have been adjusted. Runners who test positive for Covid-19 but are asymptomatic will not necessarily be excluded. Their presence or not in the peloton will be decided on medical advice.
Wimbledon: a table that opens for Rafael Nadal
What if the Covid-19 helped Rafael Nadal win a third Grand Slam tournament in a row after the Australian Open and Roland-Garros? We are not there yet, but the contaminations have seriously lightened the Spaniard’s part of the table at Wimbledon. The famous grass tournament, whose first main draw matches took place on Monday, has already lost the Croatian Marin Cilic, a potential opponent for Mallorca in the round of 16.
Tuesday, it is the turn of the Italian Matteo Berrettini, finalist in 2021 and tipped to face Rafael Nadal in the semi-final, to have been forced to withdraw after a positive test for Covid-19. All eyes now turn to unvaccinated Serbian Novak Djokovic, who trained with Marin Cilic on June 23.
Rugby: the XV of France, England and New Zealand affected
Even before their departure for Japan, the Blues have already been disturbed in their preparation by the Covid-19. Two players, Aymeric Luc and Max Spring, as well as two members of the tricolor staff Laurent Labit, have tested positive, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) announced on Wednesday. Negative on Saturday, the two rears were able to join the rest of the XV of France in the land of the Rising Sun. The hardest part is logically behind for the Blues, whose quarantine on site was lifted on Sunday in the absence of cases.
But other selections are also affected. New Zealander Will Jordan is the latest All Black to have to give up a test match against Ireland on Saturday because of Covid-19. Before the Canterbury Crusaders winger, his teammates David Havili and Jack Goodhue as well as coach Ian Foster and his two assistants John Plumtree and Scott McLeod tested positive this week.
England, which has to face Australia three times on its soil, saw its winger Jonny May placed in solitary confinement on Wednesday upon his arrival in Perth. The player has been confined and should miss the first confrontation this Saturday.