STRICTLY fans are furious that Nicola Adams has been banned from next year's show after being axed due to partner Katya Jones's coronavirus diagnosis.
Show bosses claim the retired boxer, 38, would have an unfair advantage if she returned to the ballroom in 2021.
But viewers have pointed out Maisie Smith was allowed to return after winning last year's Christmas special, and Jamie Laing was given a second chance after injuring his foot in the build up to the 2019 series.
Fuming on Twitter, one angry fan posted: "Once again. Nicola having a few weeks of training is nothing compared to the celebs over the years who have dance experience. This year alone: Caroline HRVY Maisie Jamie (Had weeks of training last year before being injured). Max Come off it!"
Another ranted: "How come Maisie can come onto the show having competed in it previously yet Nicola never allowed back? Somebody needs to look at the Strictly rulebook."
A third was in shock, writing: "I can’t believe you won’t let her back. If it was near the end or brilliant but she’s average at best. By next year she will have no advantage. Kelvin was brilliant but in the first show this year he wasn’t great. Probably because he hasn’t danced for a while. Let Nicola back."
A statement from show bosses shared on Loose Women today statedNicola cannot return to the show "in the future" because she'd have an "unfair advantage".
Andrea McLean read the statement which said: "We announced before the series stated if anyone tested positive from COVID they'd be out of the competition.
"If someone has to miss a week it's called a bye and everyone gets one bye. But contestants are not allowed to miss more than one week.
"They're not allowed to re-enter the competition after they've taken part in the first episode.
"Jamie (Laing) was allowed back because he was injured before he began training and appeared on the show.
"Nicola can't come back because she will have an unfair advantage in the future as she's now had weeks of training."
Andrea also confirmed Nicola won't be allowed to appear in Strictly's Christmas special, however, Gethin Jones revealed yesterday she will be interviewed on Strictly's It Takes Two when she comes out of isolation.
The Sun broke the news yesterday that Strictly's first same sex couple Nicola and Katya Jones had been axed after the Russian pro caught coronavirus.
And at least four crew members in contact with Katya have also had to isolate.
Nicola, 38, then shared a statement and explained: "I’m absolutely devastated my Strictly journey has come to an end so soon.
"I had so much more to give and so many people to win this for! But I just want to say a huge thank you to Katya for being the best dance partner anyone could ask for.
"She pushed me way out of my comfort zone and it’s been an incredible experience.
"I’m gutted to be out of the competition but in these unprecedented times and as frustrating as it is, the Covid measures in place are to keep everyone safe, and I’m doing what I can to help.
"I’ll be spending the next 14 days isolating so I’d like to apologise in advance for the ridiculous amount of TikToks I’ll be posting, in my new found free time when I’m not gaming!"
Katya, 31, added: "Dancing with Nicola has been an absolute inspiration.
"She's given her all each and every week and we were so excited to create more dances in the competition.
"Of course, I'm devastated to leave this way but I've made a friend for life and loved every moment of this special journey."
She concluded: "I’d like to wish good luck to all the remaining couples!"
The pair are the first couple in Strictly history to be forced out of the competition due to illness.
Nonetheless, boxer Nicola and pro dancer Katya have a place in the show's record books as the first same-sex couple in its 16-year run.
It comes after Strictly: It Takes Two host Rylan Clark-Neal was forced into isolation after coming into contact with coronavirus.
The BBC tonight insisted the rest of the cast are unaffected and that the show will return to BBC One on Saturday night.
Producer Sarah James said: "We are incredibly sad that these unfortunate circumstances mean that Nicola and Katya are unable to continue on Strictly.
"They are a brilliant partnership and had already achieved so much during their time on the show.
"We'd like to thank them for their commitment and although their time in the competition has sadly come to an end we are hopeful that there will be opportunities for them to dance again in the future.”
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