Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet has tested positive for coronavirus and will not be able to attend the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing ©Getty Images

Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet will not attend at the Winter Olympics here after testing positive for coronavirus, it has been announced.

Estanguet was due to make the trip to the Chinese capital to observe the final Games before Paris is set to play host to the Summer Olympics in two years’ time.

There had been plans for Estanguet to visit Beijing for the first part of the Winter Olympics, scheduled to open on Friday (February 4).

But it has been confirmed that Estanguet has caught COVID-19, meaning he will be unable to lead the Paris 2024 delegation in Beijing.

Estanguet is reportedly suffering with "mild symptoms" after being diagnosed with the virus.

Paris 2024 chief executive Étienne Thobois could head the Organising Committee in Estanguet’s place in Beijing.

Estanguet was in Tokyo to see the start of last year’s Summer Olympics before returning to Paris for the Handover Ceremony, and he attended the previous edition of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

The three-time Olympic canoe slalom champion, a former member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is among a number of key figures that will be absent from Beijing 2022, including International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons who has also contracted COVID-19.

Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet attended Tokyo 2020 but will not be at Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images
Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet attended Tokyo 2020 but will not be at Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images

Several nations have joined an United States-led diplomatic boycott of the Games, citing concerns over China’s human rights record.

France has elected not to take such a move, with French Sports Minister Roxana Mărăcineanu due to travel to Beijing.

French President Emmanuel Macron has labelled the diplomatic boycott as "insignificant".

China has faced accusations of using forced Uyghur labour, operating a mass surveillance programme, detaining thousands in internment camps, carrying out forced sterilisations and intentionally destroying Uyghur heritage in the Xinjiang region.

Beijing has claimed camps are training centres for stamping out Islamist extremism and separatism.

There have also been concerns over the welfare of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai after she initially accused a high-ranking Chinese official of sexual assault on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

In November, Estanguet called for the "greatest transparency" over the health and safety of Peng, which was in contract to the IOC’s "quiet diplomacy" approach.

Estanguet was vice-chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission between 2012 and 2021.