Winter Olympics: Reigning skiathlon champion Kruger tests positive for coronavirus

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Reigning Winter Olympics skiathlon champion Simen Hegstad Kruger may be denied the opportunity to defend his title after testing positive for coronavirus.

The 28-year-old, who won gold in the men's 30 kilometres event in Pyeongchang four years ago, is the third member of Norway's cross-country skiing team to contract the virus.

Kruger had been much-fancied to add to his medal collection in Beijing, but it now seems unlikely he will get the chance to represent his country.

Speaking on Thursday, 10 days before Kruger's event takes place, Norway team doctor Oystein Andersen said: "We have had infections in the squad and took new PCR tests.

"We have feared that more would come, and unfortunately we have got another one. Unfortunately, it is Simen Hegstad Kruger who has taken a positive test today."

Female cross-country skiers Heidi Weng and Anne Kjersti Kalva are the other two Norwegian competitors to have tested positive.

All three athletes must now self-isolate in Italy, where the Norway team is based prior to flying out to China on January 30.

"It's an extreme situation," Andersen said of the spiralling coronavirus cases in the camp. "We have to limit the damage as best we can."

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