Bethany Shadburne and Dan Bailey Out of 2021 CrossFit Games Due to Positive COVID Tests

Athletes who were in contact with Shadburne but tested negative will still be quarantined as much as possible during the Games.

CrossFitters Bethany Shadburne and Dan Bailey are officially out of the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games after testing positive for COVID-19. CrossFit announced Shadburne’s withdrawal on July 26, 2021. Kara Saunders also tested positive (she took a test herself) but has subsequently received a negative antigen test and has therefore been cleared to compete. Bailey, Danielle Brandon, and Pearce came in contact with either Shadburne or Saunders, and, up until July 27, all three athletes had tested negative during daily screenings administered by CrossFit. 

Then, on July 27, CrossFit announced that Dan Bailey tested positive for COVID-19 via an antigen test and has been medically withdrawn from the competition. 


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“All three athletes tested negative during their on-site screenings but will remain segregated from their peers and receive daily antigen testing throughout the competition,” the initial announcement from CrossFit on July 26, 2021, read. “If that daily testing remains negative, those athletes will be permitted to take part in the competition with heightened safety protocols, including separate housing, segregated transportation to/from events, and distanced lanes or segregated workout areas during the competition, when possible.”

Since Bailey has tested positive for COVID-19, the statement above now applies to Brandon and Pearce. Bailey is a four-time CrossFit Games veteran, competing from 2012 to 2015. His best placing was fourth at the 2015 Games (Ben Smith won that year). He’s also participated in three CrossFit Games (2014-2016) as a member of Team Rogue Red, which came in second all three years. Bailey was competing in the Masters 35-39 division in 2021. 

Shadburne was expected to perform well at the Games. The American placed first at the West Coast Classic Semifinal, beating out her now-teammate and third-place finisher at the 2020 CrossFit Games, Kari Pearce. Both Pearce and Shadburne train under coach Justin Cotler

Shadburne is a four-time CrossFit Games veteran. Her best finish was eighth in 2019. (Reigning four-time Fittest Woman on Earth® Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr won that year.) Shadburne placed 21st in the 2021 CrossFit Open and 11th during the Quarterfinals

How to Watch the 2021 CrossFit Games

The 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games kick off on July 27 and run through Aug. 1. They are taking place at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI. For the individual stage of the competition, 40 men and 40 women will compete for the chance to be crowned Fittest on Earth®.

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Editor’s note: This article was updated on July 27, 2021, with news that Dan Baily has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now out of the Games. 

Featured image: @dan_bailey9 on Instagram