More confusion in UAE as organiser says six people now diagnosed with coronavirus

Three teams remain under quarantine after the last two stages of the UAE Tour were abandoned

UAE Tour hotel quarantine (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Confusion continues for the three teams trapped in quarantine in the UAE, as authorities now say six new cases of coronavirus have been detected.

The last two stages of the 2020 UAE Tour were abandoned last week after authorities found two team staff members were suspected of having the Covid-19 virus.

As all of the 600 riders, staff and media workers on the race were quarantined and tested, reports later emerged that the two Italian staff members had actually tested negative for the coronavirus.

Most teams and media had been released and allowed by fly home by Sunday (March 1), but three teams, Cofidis, Groupama-FDJ and Gazprom-RusVelo are still being held on the fourth floor of their hotel.

Then on Tuesday (March 3), the Abu Dhabi Ministry of Health and Prevention announced six new cases of coronavirus had been confirmed and were connected to the two previous cases that had been announced.

Organisers of the UAE Tour, RCS Sport, said that two Russians, two Italians, one German and one Colombian had now tested positive for coronavirus.

A statement from RCS said: “The higher organising committee notifies that the Ministry of Health and Prevention has announced six new cases of the coronavirus, Covid-19, in the UAE on Tuesday.

“The six individuals diagnosed with the new coronavirus include two Russians, two Italians, one German and one Colombian. The patients were connected to the two previously announced cases associated with the cycling event, the UAE Tour.”

>>> Cofidis sports director threatens to go on hunger strike if UAE Tour quarantine continues

The authorities are currently monitoring the patients, who are said to be in a stable condition and receiving health care.

According to the Abu Dhabi authorities, anyone who was quarantined who had no direct contact with athletes or their teams were examined and those who tested negative were allowed to leave.

Those still under quarantine, including Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Nathan Haas (Cofidis) will be re-examined and tested for the virus.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.