Fernando Gaviria confirms he has coronavirus

Rumours had been circulating that the Colombian sprinter had caught the Covid-19 virus

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Fernando Gaviria has confirmed he has coronavirus.

The Colombian sprinter has been off the radar since the UAE Tour was abandoned late last month, but he has since released a video confirming that he caught the Covid-19 virus.

UAE Team Emirates rider Gaviria was riding the seven-stage race when the final two stages were abandoned because of an outbreak of the virus in the team hotel in Abu Dhabi.

Gaviria, the UAE team and three other squads were kept under quarantine in their hotel for two weeks while health authorities carried out tests.

In a video statement posted on social media, the 25-year-old said in Spanish: "Hello everyone, I know that there have been many rumours about my state of health, but I am fine.

"I have been here in constant examinations that have given me a positive result for the coronavirus, but I feel well."

He added: "I am here to avoid spreading the virus to more people."

The UAE Tour was cancelled after stage five when the race organiser announced that a member of staff from an unnamed team had tested positive for the virus.

All riders, staff and media at the race were quarantined in their hotel rooms while health authorities carried out tests, with most people being free to go home by March 1.

But UAE Team Emirates, Cofidis, Groupama-FDJ, and Gazprom-RusVelo were all kept locked down for further tests, with Cofidis and Groupama then being released.

However, UAE and Gazprom are still being kept in the Abu Dhabi, as Russian squad Gazprom announced that their rider Dmitry Strakhov had tested positive for the virus.

>>> Cycling and coronavirus: Everything you need to know

Gaviria is the second rider confirmed to have tested positive for Covid-19, which has caused a huge dent in the cycling calendar.

A number races have been cancelled, including Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, while some teams took the decision to pull out of races to protect the health of their riders.

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