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Live Updates: The Tokyo Olympics: NPR

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Taylor Crabb, shown here at a 2019 tournament, is widely reported to have tested positive for the coronavirus in Japan.

Justin Casterline / Getty Images


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Justin Casterline / Getty Images

Taylor Crabb, shown here at a 2019 tournament, is widely reported to have tested positive for the coronavirus in Japan.

Justin Casterline / Getty Images

The first American athlete expected to compete in the Tokyo Summer Olympics tested positive for the coronavirus while in Japan.

USA Volleyball confirmed to NPR that a team member received a positive test and was transferred to a hotel.

The team is not confirming the athlete’s identity, although it has been widely reported in Southeastern California local media to be male beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb.

Teams of two play beach volleyball at the Olympics. Crabb, 29, and his teammate, Jake Gibb, are scheduled for their first game Sunday morning ET against a pair from Italy.

The positive test makes it unlikely that Crabb will be able to play.

“As for a possible replacement, there is a protocol for an alternate athlete to join the team,” USA Volleyball said. “We are working on that process.”

Crabb was preparing to make his Olympic debut. Gibb, 45, has competed in three other games. Last month, the couple secured his place to Tokyo.

Crabb’s brother Trevor, who is also a professional beach volleyball player, told a local NBC affiliate that he thought the situation was “dire.” He said Crabb is “fine and healthy and should be allowed to play in my personal opinion.”

It is not clear what the positive test means for Gibb. The COVID-19 protocols for the Games leave the door open for officials to determine on a case-by-case basis whether a close contact from a positive case can compete.

An American gymnastics substitute, Kara Eaker, also tested positive in Japan, although she was not expected to compete in the Games. American tennis star Coco Gauff received a positive test while still in the US.

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