Olympic distance runner under investigation over claim he altered COVID test

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British Olympian Andrew Butchart is under investigation after remarking he faked a COVID-19 test result in order to return to the country following an international race.

Butchart said in an episode of “The Sunday Podcast” he changed a date on an old test as he prepared to check-in because there was a delay in getting a PCR test back, according to Reuters. 

The podcast was reportedly taken down after he made the remarks.

“Everybody has faked PCR tests, I’m sure, to try to go somewhere because it’s just so hard,” he said.

A UK Athletics spokesperson told Reuters the organization and the British Olympic Association were investigating Butchart after he made the comments.

“We take very seriously any suggestion that an athlete has not followed these guidelines correctly and broken any COVID-related protocols,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Butchart attempted to walk back the comments on Tuesday.

“I never faked it, the test came through in time, but I’ve heard rumors of others faking tests. The context of the podcast was about how hard it has been for athletes during the pandemic to travel and race,” he the Times of UK. “I used the example of athletes I know having to use previous PCR results to get through check-in but not immigration. To confirm, I have not done this but know of people who have.”

Butchart ran for Britain in the 2016 Olympics and qualified for the 5,000-meters race for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Games.

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