No Tokyo Olympics-bound Indian athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 after 30 personnel were found infected with the deadly virus at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centers in Patiala and Bengaluru on March 31. While 26 cases were reported from Patiala, the remaining four came from Bengaluru. The 30 positive cases include athletes as well as support staff.
Men’s boxing chief coach and Dronacharya awardee CA Kuttappa, shot put coach Mohinder Singh Dhillon, Asian Boxing Championships silver medallist Deepak Kumar and India Open Boxing gold medallist Sanjeet are some of the most prominent names who have tested positive for COVID-19.
However, the positive results in both the SAI centers don't include any Tokyo Olympics-bound Indian athlete.
SAI stated in a statement:
“Keeping the safety of Olympic-bound athletes, coaches and support staff in mind, the Sports Authority of India conducted precautionary RT-PCR tests at the National Centre of Excellence in Patiala and Bengaluru. The reports received today indicate that all Olympic-bound athletes at both centers are COVID negative. Those who have tested positive are being isolated in the residential facilities within the campus."
RT-PCR tests have been conducted over the past few days at both centers. While 313 tests were conducted in Patiala, 428 members got their tests done in Bengaluru. The 30 positive personnel are being isolated in the residential facilities within the SAI campus.
SAI centers are training bases for most Olympic-bouIndian athletes
More than 70 athletes have already booked their place at the Tokyo Olympics, with the SAI centers in Bengaluru and Patiala being their primary training bases.
The boxers, weightlifters and most of the track and field athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo Games are based at NIS Patiala. Meanwhile, the Tokyo Olympics-bound men’s and women’s hockey teams and middle-distance runners are sweating it out in Bengaluru.
The men’s hockey team have already left for Buenos Aires, where they will play Olympic champions Argentina in the FIH Pro League on April 11 and 12. The Manpreet Singh-led side will also play four practice matches on April 6, 7, 13 and 14 as part of their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.