The 32-year-old, who intends to take part in her fifth and final Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, was due to leave for the International Swimming League event in Budapest but felt unwell after training on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately I have some bad news: yesterday I stopped training because I felt pain and on the way home I also got a sore throat. So this afternoon I took a swab and I tested positive for Covid," she said in a tearful Instagram post.

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"I was supposed to leave on Monday for Budapest to take part in the ISL," added the 200 metre freestyle world record holder.

"I was looking forward to getting back into the water and finally starting a normal season, even more so because I was fine and had trained well.

"Instead I have to stop again and in the meantime I will undergo ten days of quarantine."

Pellegrini won gold in the 200 metres freestyle at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the world championship in the same event in 2009, 2011, 2017 and 2019, plus the world title in the 400 metres freestyle in 2009 and 2011. (Writing by Brian Homewood Editing by Toby Davis)

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