Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal has been ruled out for the Tokyo Olympics due to health and safety protocols, Team USA announced on Thursday afternoon, marking an abrupt end to Beal's quest for a gold medal.
Beal, 28, was set to become the first active Wizards player to represent Team USA in the Olympics. He played in three exhibition games, starting in all of them, and had a game-high 17 points in their win over Australia on Tuesday.
Beal missed one game during the 2020-21 NBA season in COVID-19 protocol after he interacted with Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics following a game. But he was able to avoid testing positive for coronavirus, even in January when the Wizards suffered a major outbreak on their roster.
Beal was set to be a key contributor on the United States, which is seeking its fourth straight gold medal. Team USA will now look to replace Beal on the roster. They also have three players set to join them after the NBA Finals in Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton.
Playing for Team USA and in the Olympics is a rare opportunity that only comes around once every four years. The next chance Beal will have is in 2024, when he is 31 years old.