TOKYO — American beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Japan and is unlikely to be able to compete at the Tokyo Olympics, according to multiple news media reports Wednesday.
The Orange County Register and an NBC affiliate in Los Angeles each reported that Crabb, 29, recorded a positive test over the weekend, which would likely preclude him from competing in his first scheduled match with partner Jake Gibb on Sunday.
Crabb’s brother, Trevor, told the NBC affiliate that Taylor is “fine and healthy and should be allowed to play, in my personal opinion.”
Taylor Crabb would be the first U.S. athlete to be ruled out of competing at the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19 in Japan.
USA Volleyball confirmed in a statement that one of its members tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival but declined to provide any other additional details, including the identity of the person.
“The health and safety of our athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority,” the organization said in a statement. “We can confirm that a member of Team USA tested positive upon their arrival into Japan. In alignment with local rules and protocols, the athlete has been transferred to a hotel. Out of respect for the individual’s privacy, we cannot provide more information at this time.”
A spokesperson for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee declined comment.
USA Volleyball added that “there are protocols in place for a replacement athlete and we are pursuing that option.”
“However nothing has been confirmed yet,” it said.
The Orange County Register reported that Tri Bourne is expected to replace Crabb on the two-man team, and partner with Gibb.
A Honolulu, Hawaii native, Crabb was named the national player of the year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association in 2013, when he was at Long Beach State, and he has been a staple on the professional tour in recent years.
Crabb comes from a volleyball-crazed family. His father, Chris, played professional indoor volleyball and his uncle, Tony, was an assistant coach on the U.S. team that won gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Crabb’s brother, Trevor, also plays professionally. In fact, Bourne, the replacement who is now reportedly headed to Tokyo, is his regular playing partner.