Tennis-Positive COVID-19 tests linked to Australian Open downgraded to eight

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FILE PHOTO: A general view of Melbourne Park ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The number of positive COVID-19 tests linked to the Australian Open has been downgraded to eight after authorities reclassified one of the results as a previous infection, health officials said on Wednesday.

"One case has been reclassified due to evidence of previous infection, meaning there is now a total of eight positive cases related to the AO cohort," COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV) said in a statement.

CQV, the government agency overseeing the quarantine of tennis players and officials ahead of the Grand Slam, said the reclassified case was a man in his 40s who was not a player.

The agency confirmed that another positive case had been "medically cleared" to leave isolation, leaving the total number of active cases at seven.

Australian media said Edward Elliott, who coaches American world number 75 Lauren Davis, was the person released from isolation.

Victoria's health department and Tennis Australia were not immediately available for comment. There was no response to an email and message sent to Elliott.

Spain's Paula Badosa was the first player to reveal she had contracted the virus when she tested positive on her seventh day in quarantine. She was moved to a "health hotel" on Thursday to begin two more weeks of lockdown.

Sylvain Bruneau, the coach of 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu, also tested positive after arriving in Melbourne.

No new cases were reported among the Australian Open cohort in quarantine on Wednesday.

More than 70 players have been confined to hotel rooms for two weeks after passengers on three charter flights taking them to Australia tested positive to the novel coronavirus.

CQV said the reclassified case on Wednesday had no impact on close contacts of the positive tests on those flights, meaning the affected players and officials would remain in hard quarantine for the remainder of their 14-day isolation.

Other players are allowed five hours outside their rooms each day to train. After the 14-day isolation they will be allowed to train normally and then compete at tune-up events at Melbourne Park ahead of the Grand Slam.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne, additional reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Peter Rutherford)