Gymnastics-Olympic champion Douglas delays return due to COVID

FILE PHOTO: 2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Preliminary - Women's Qualification - Subdivisions - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/08/2016. Gabrielle Douglas (USA) of USA (Gabby Douglas) competes on the beam during the women's qualifications. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) - Three-times Olympic gold medallist Gabby Douglas has been forced to delay her return to competition ahead of this year's Paris Games after testing positive for COVID-19, the American gymnast said.

The 2012 Olympics all-around individual and team champion has not competed since the 2016 Rio Games, taking time away to focus on her mental health. The 28-year-old returned to training last year hoping to make the squad for Paris.

Douglas was due to compete at the Feb. 23-25 Winter Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, which marks the start of the U.S. domestic season, but said she would have to miss the event.

"I was so excited to get back out on the competition floor, but unfortunately, I just tested positive for COVID-19... I'm crushed but I'll see you guys soon," she said in a post on Instagram.

(Reporting by Shifa Jahan in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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