Vaccinated UAE team out of Fleche Wallonne over virus cases

CHARLEROI, BELGIUM (AP) — Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar is out of the Flèche Wallonne one-day race yesterday after his UAE Team Emirates squad withdrew following two positive tests for the coronavirus, even though the team was previously vaccinated.

The team said rider Diego Ulissi and an unidentified staff member tested positive when they arrived in Belgium on Sunday, but that both repeatedly tested negative before and after the positive tests. “Though the team is frustrated by the ruling, we fully accept the final decision of the Belgian authorities,” the team said.

The entire team was given the Sinopharm vaccine in January during a training camp in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

UAE Team Emirates said it will now undergo more coronavirus tests with the aim of being cleared to compete in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège race on Sunday.

Riders climb the Wall of Huy during the Women’s Belgian cycling classic and UCI World Tour race Fleche Wallonne, in Huy, Belgium. PHOTO: AP