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SpaceX return: Astronauts head for splashdown, despite tropical storm Ground beef recall 2020: JBS Food Canada recalls more than 38,000 pounds of meat Athletics: South Africas Van Niekerk tests positive for COVID-19 in Italy - report

(Reuters) - South Africa's Olympic 400 metres champion Wayde van Niekerk tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy last week, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

© Reuters/TOBY MELVILLE World Athletics Championships

Van Niekerk, who romped to Olympic gold four years ago in a world record time of 43.03 seconds, was set to participate in a meet in Trieste - his first competition outside of South Africa since 2017 following a serious knee injury.

© Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko FILE PHOTO: South Africa's 400m Olympic gold medallist and world record holder Wayde van Niekerk looks on as he attends South African Championships in Germiston

"I don't know how it's possible. Wayde has been training for the whole week and never had any symptom, not even after testing positive. He hasn't had a fever," the 28-year-old's manager Peet Van Zyl told the publication.

Van Niekerk, who tore his right anterior cruciate ligament while playing a charity touch rugby game in 2017 to leave his career in doubt, began his comeback in February this year.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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