World 400m record holder Wayde van Niekerk has been given the green light to resume full training after being released from self-isolation in Italy, his agent has confirmed.
The 28-year-old’s long awaited return to the track was delayed last month after his Covid-19 coronavirus test returned both positive and negative results on the eve of the Triveneto Meeting in Trieste last month.
The sprinter was then dropped from what would have been his first competitive race after almost two years on the sidelines following a serious knee injury during a touch rugby match in October 2017.
In a statement issued by his agent Peet van Zyl on Thursday, the Olympic champion has now been cleared to return to the track, while the rest of the group, including Van Niekerk’s coach Ana “Tannie Ans” Botha, has consistently tested negative for Covid-19 since arriving in Italy.
“At this stage, we cannot predict when he will be back in top shape as Wayde was in isolation for 25 days, so he has lost a lot of training
on the track, which is crucial before his first race back,” explained Van Zyl.
The In-Site Athlete Management boss added that Botha would use the medical information to assess what level Van Niekerk is at and then “build his fitness to where it was before he was placed in isolation”.
“His form will determine the plans for a return to competition,” added Van Zyl.
According to the statement, the multiple South African champion returned inconsistent Covid-19 test results owing to antibodies in his system despite Van Niekerk being asymptomatic throughout the process.
The sprinter was showing some improvements in form before the Covid-19 outbreak in March. He had planned to open his international season at the Trieste meting on August 1, but he has to wait yet again.