By Susan Westemeyer
The German national team for the track World Cup meet this weekend in Copenhagen has suffered the loss of two riders, Olaf Pollack and Maximilian Levy. Pollack's father died, and he is returning home.
"But I will try to fulfil his great wish that I take part again in the Olympics in Beijing," said Pollack, who won a gold medal on the track at the 2000 Olympics. Pollack, who rides for the Austrian Professional Continental Team Volksbank, must now do well at the World Championships the end of March to qualify for the Olympics.
Levy, who has also already flown home, was diagnosed with rotavirus, a particular infectious form of diarrhoea. According to the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer (BDR, German cycling federation), it has hit much of the team as well as national coach Detlef Uibel. The whole team was to undergo additional medical examinations Wednesday evening. "After that we will decision who can start and who has to go home," said Burckhard Bremer of the BDR.
Some of the riders have already recovered from the virus, Bremer said. In order to prevent any further infection, the BDR has put the sick and the healthy athletes in two separate hotels.