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Ganna still positive for COVID-19 after two weeks

Filippo Ganna at the start
Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) (Image credit: Getty Images)

World time trial champion Filippo Ganna has spoken about his COVID-19 diagnosis after missing the European Track Championships having tested positive for the virus at the start of the month. 

The Italian, who won four stages at last month's Giro d'Italia, apologised to his Italy track teammates Liam Bertazzo and Michele Scartezzini after the pair were also forced to miss out having later tested positive for COVID-19.

Speaking to Tuttobiciweb, Ganna said that he is still positive for the virus two weeks after his initial positive test, adding that several members of his family are also in quarantine having caught it.

"I got a lot of attention all year long and I did everything right," Ganna said. "Then I relaxed the tension for a day and a half [after coming out of the Ineos Grenadiers 'bubble]. Because of COVID-19 I've thrown away many opportunities, but now I'm at peace.

"I'm infinitely sorry to have infected my teammates and friends Bertazzo and Scartezzini, who deserved top results at the Euros after having prepared in a very meticulous way.

"I'm with my sister, mum and dad – united for better or for worse. We're all in isolation because we all had positive results. By now we're aiming for herd immunity," he joked.

Ganna will undergo a third test on Friday, which will hopefully give a clear negative result to allow him to return to training. He added that he has suffered a high temperature, flu-like symptoms, and a loss of taste and smell since testing positive for the virus.

"We hope to test negative as soon as possible and that this disease doesn't leave any physical trauma. We cannot be sure, though. As soon as I get better, of course, I will undergo the necessary examinations before returning to training.

"For three days I had a fever of 39C, and the temperature didn't stop despite taking paracetamol three times a day. I had bone pains and all the classic flu symptoms, and for a week I had no sense of taste or smell.

"I tested my taste with mustard and smell with alcohol. I've started to taste honey again, but I still don't feel the taste of coffee when I drink it."

Despite the disappointing end to his season, Ganna still reflected on a very positive year overall.

As well as four Giro stage wins, which included a solo victory in Camigliatello Silano, he established himself as the world's top time trialist, becoming Italian and world time trial champion and also winning the San Bendetto del Tronto time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico, setting a new course record in the process. Back in February he won another world pursuit title, smashing his own world record. 

"In every sense [it was good]," he said. "As far as work is concerned, I can't complain about anything. For the rest, as for everyone else, it has been a difficult year. Those who deny the gravity of the virus that is upsetting the world, and who still insist on not respecting the rules that would help us defeat it, should try it for themselves.

"What I won in this atypical season makes me proud but now I just want me and my loved ones to be healthy again. Sport is important but in life there are other priorities."

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