New Zealand have pulled out of the Thomas Cup after their team for the men's badminton championship was "severely depleted" by positive COVID-19 tests, prompting the sport's global governing body to replace them with the United States.
Badminton New Zealand said on Wednesday several players had tested positive during the April 28-May 1 Oceania Championships in Melbourne and in the subsequent days following the event.
"This has resulted in a severely depleted team, with the possibility of additional positive cases detected upon arrival in Thailand," it said in a statement.
"The difficult decision to withdraw the team was made, considering all factors and putting player welfare at the forefront of our thinking.
"We are focused on supporting the remaining New Zealand players in Australia and getting them home safely, as soon as possible."
The event starts in Thailand on Sunday.
The governing Badminton World Federation (BWF) said no other Oceania member association was able to take the continental quota place, while the countries next in line in the rankings also declined.
"Team USA confirmed their participation and will take their place in Group D alongside Japan, Malaysia and England," the BWF said in a statement.
The United States finished runners-up to traditional powerhouse Malaysia in the 1952 edition of the event.
F1 winner from 1950s, Brooks dies aged 90
Tony Brooks, the last surviving Formula 1 race winner from the 1950s, has passed away at the age of 90.
Born Charles Anthony Standish Brooks on February 25, 1932, Brooks was known as the 'The Racing Dentist', having famously dovetailed his studies in dentistry at the University of Manchester with the beginnings of his racing career -- Brooks then qualified as a dentist in 1956. Brooks who was a searingly fast driver, won six Grands Prix (from just 38 starts), including his joint win at the 1957 British Grand Prix at Aintree - a victory he shared with compatriot Stirling Moss.
Brooks made his debut for BRM at the 1956 British Grand Prix, going on to drive for Vanwall in 1957 and 1958, before being picked by Enzo Ferrari to race for his famous team - with Brooks coming close to winning the world title in 1959.
He would race on until 1961, his last outing seeing him finish on the podium in that year's United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen for BRM, before he left the sport behind him to focus on business interests.
Speaking of the news of Brooks's passing, Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali in a statement said: "I was saddened to hear the news that Tony Brooks has died. He was part of a special group of drivers who were pioneers and pushed the boundaries at a time of great risk. He will be missed and our thoughts are with his family at this time."