How big is the risk that corona-positive Ayuso will ignite his colleagues? “He is endangering his own health and that of other riders” | Vuelta

Could Ayuso be a false positive test of an old infection?

“False positive tests are very rare, but you can indeed make a distinction between them. You can pick up an old infection because residual particles of the coronavirus sometimes remain in the body for weeks while you are no longer sick or infectious. But in this case of Ayuso, it’s almost out of the question. He spoke about symptoms a few days ago and riders undergo regular testing. If the previous tests were negative, and the last test is positive, it is almost guaranteed to be a new infection. And a new infection can get worse. To check this evolution, a second test is needed with a number of days in between. It is now somewhat worthless to let people who test positive just start in a sports competition, because then you shouldn’t test them.”


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Any infection can cause problems for the heart or other organs. There are examples of riders who have continued to race with a viral infection and have thus started the end of their career or unfortunately even the end of their life

Tom Teulingkx, head of the Association for Sports and Examination Physicians

Is Ayuso at risk to his health by racing on?

“Possibly. He’s positive, and was symptomatic a few days ago. And whether it is Covid or another infection, it is better not to exercise. Any infection can cause problems for the heart or other organs. There are examples of riders who have continued racing with a viral infection and have thus started the end of their career or unfortunately even the end of their life. Sonny Colbrelli has been proven to have exercised with a fever and possibly an infection and thus developed heart problems. In efforts where your heart has to work hard, that virus can settle in the heart muscle. The Colbrelli case is well described, but some riders still take a risk that is actually not justifiable. It is a dangerous trend.”

How big is the risk that he infects other riders such as Evenepoel?

“Riders who have tested positive for corona also step off the course to protect other riders. I don’t think many riders in the peloton or Remco will now ride side by side with Ayuso. We do know that infections in cycling usually take place indoors: the greatest chance exists in the bus, at the table and on the massage table. Then you see that if there is one infection within a team, that virus goes around and new cases appear in the following days. Person-to-person infections in the pack are less obvious. But riders sometimes ride close together for a long time, there is a lot of coughing and snot being spread in the peloton… I think other riders who try to protect themselves as best as possible do not appreciate the decision that Ayuso continues to race. He is not only endangering his own health, but also that of other riders.”

Ayuso this afternoon at the start (far left), with mouth mask. © Photo News

Does an asymptomatic infection affect performance?

“The question is what is asymptomatic? A viral infection always signals or stresses the body, whether it be with many or few symptoms. A recreational user may not be bothered by this, but with riders who have to go all the way, it is obvious that they cannot perform optimally – certainly not for days in a row. They’re going to lose a few percentages. And at the top level, that’s huge. A body wants to get rid of that infection. That requires energy, the immunity is under pressure. While to be top, all energy must be devoted to performance. If a body has to fight a virus, it takes a toll on performance. It can undermine the respiratory system, muscle function, heart-lung machine and recovery.”


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It may be that several riders who may have tested positive are still riding around. Because if the tests are done by the teams, the teams are responsible for communicating that.

Tom Teulingkx, head of the Association for Sports and Examination Physicians

How big is the responsibility of the organization?

“Yeah, okay, if the organization leaves room for that and says that the teams should decide for themselves, then you create problems. We will see how many riders arrive in the Vuelta next week. The damage in the top ten is already huge. But it may be that several riders who may have tested positive are still riding around. Because if the tests are done by the teams, the teams are responsible for communicating that. I know that the Belgian teams are strict about that. That is kudos to the Belgian doctors who work there. But about other teams I have the impression that they are more relaxed about it. In situations where there is not really a jury that tests itself, there is room for this. In the past Tour, the organization did test itself in the rest days.”

Simon Yates did leave the Vuelta in fifth place after testing positive for corona this week. © Photo News

Also watch. Evenepoel about fall and positive ayuso

Also read. Remco Evenepoel is no stranger to it, which can be clearly seen in this photo from 1945: “Winner’s mentality is in his genes”

How strong is the team around Evenepoel after the retirement of Alaphilippe? “Remco followed him blindly”



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The article is in Dutch

Belgium

Tags: big risk coronapositive Ayuso ignite colleagues endangering health riders Vuelta

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