By Jonny Long
Michael Matthews has returned a negative coronavirus test result one day after testing positive and withdrawing from the 2020 Giro d'Italia.
The Australian rider was pulled from the race before the start of stage 10, having been among a number of riders and support staff to test positive on the first rest day, but has apparently now returned a second test that has come back negative, according to Wielerflits.
This second test could indicate that Matthews' Giro test returned a false positive, and his Sunweb team will conduct another PCR test on their rider in the coming days.
The result of the third test will determine whether Matthews' season will end. Having only ridden half of the Giro, the 30-year-old could now line-up for the Tour of Flanders or the Vuelta a España.
Jumbo-Visma's Steven Kruijswijk was another high-profile rider to test positive on the rest day, with his team subsequently withdrawing from the Italian Grand Tour. After re-testing, the Dutchman returned a second positive result.
Mitchelton-Scott also withdrew their entire team after four of their staff members tested positive, following team leader Simon Yates being pulled from the race last week after testing positive.
One video posted on Twitter claims to show members of up to four teams mixing with journalists and members of the public in a hotel restaurant on the Giro's rest day, showing the difficulties of maintaining the race bubble and reducing the chance of positives appearing in the peloton.
The Giro still has 10 stages remaining as it makes its way to Milan, already two teams lighter. Deceuninck - Quick-Step's João Almeida currently leads the general classification, 34 seconds ahead of Sunweb's Wilco Kelderman.
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