Andy Butchart waits to learn Olympic fate after 'fake Covid test' claim

Andy Butchart could be kicked off Britain’s Olympic team for claiming to have faked a negative Covid-19 test.

The Scot, a training partner of Sir Mo Farah, was named by athletics’ bosses to race the 5,000 metres in Tokyo.

But it emerged he had told a podcast he falsified a PCR test to get back into the country after competing overseas.

“Everybody has faked PCR tests, I’m sure, to try and go somewhere, because it’s just so hard,” he added on a since deleted episode of The Sunday Plodcast .

He later rowed back, saying he had “perhaps glorified the situation for the podcast” and stating: “To confirm I have not done this but know of people who have.”

By then, however, British Athletics bosses had launched an investigation and issued a statement underlining how seriously they view the matter.

“Throughout the pandemic elite sport has been privileged to receive exemptions from various guidelines to enable athletes to continue to train and compete,” it read.

“We take very seriously any suggestion that an athlete has not followed these guidelines correctly and broken any COVID-related protocols.

“As a result, this selection will stand subject to further investigation by UK Athletics.”

GB head coach Christian Malcolm, pictured competing at London 2012 Olympics
GB head coach Christian Malcolm, pictured competing at London 2012 Olympics

Head coach Christian Malcolm confirmed “all options remained on the table”.

He said: “We’ve just got to wait to find out the findings of the investigation and what the consequences, if it doesn’t work in his favour, will be.

“I wouldn’t say it’s my way or the highway, it’s just the rules we’ve all got to abide by otherwise we’ll all get kicked out – they won’t accept us.”

World heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson
World heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson

World champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson has been picked but “subject to fitness” as she battles back from injury.

She will use a competition next week in Montpellier, where she trains, to gauge her fitness.

An optimistic Malcolm said: “She is really happy with her progression, training and where she is at. Mentally she seems in a really good space.”


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