ZHANGJIAKOU / OSLO (VG) Combined star and one of Norway’s biggest gold hopes in the Beijing Olympics, Jarl Magnus Riiber (24), has tested positive for the coronavirus.
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The news, which VG announced on Thursday afternoon, was confirmed in a press release by Olympiatoppen shortly after. It also appears that the control sample was positive.
Riiber is among the biggest favorites to run away with the most generous medals in all the combined exercises.
When the Estonian combined runner Kristjan Ilves tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, Jarl Magnus Riiber was defined as close contact – like Espen Andersen, Espen Bjørnstad and five people in the Norwegian support apparatus.
Riiber must be in isolation and deliver two negative samples before he can come out. If he has no symptoms, the Chinese authorities will assess the case after ten days.
The biathletes Johannes Thingnes Bø and Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold allegedly sat near Riiber on the charter flight from Oslo to Beijing. Therefore, they were defined as close contacts. If you sit next to an infected person or two rows in front and behind the plane, you are defined as close contact.
The Norwegian athletes Johanne Killi (freeski), Anna Odine Strøm (jump) and Jørgen Graabak (combined) are now defined as close contacts, according to Olympiatoppen.
– We believe we have a good picture of the situation, and that we have identified the relevant close contacts. What is important now is that everyone is very careful with the infection control measures, and is extra careful going forward. The virus is insidious, and we are doing what we can to put a stop to further spread, says chief physician for the Olympic squad, Aasne Fenne Hoksrud.
Johannes Thingnes Bø was not allowed to participate in the biathletes’ press conference earlier today, but was at the training this afternoon Chinese time.
The first exercise for the combined athletes is Wednesday 9 February. The 24-year-old was scheduled to participate in HS106 and HS140, team and team sprint.
Jarl Magnus Riiber has 44 World Cup victories and has won the overall cup the last three seasons, 2019, 2020 and 2021. He was with the team that took gold during the previous Olympics in Pyeongchang.