Indian wrestlers Narsingh Yadav and Gurpreet Singh test positive for COVID-19

Narsingh Yadav (left) and Gurpreet Singh (right)
Narsingh Yadav (left) and Gurpreet Singh (right)
Vijay Sain

Indian wrestlers Narsingh Yadav (74 kg Freestyle) and Gurpreet Singh (77 kg Greco-Roman) have tested positive for COVID-19. Both wrestlers, along with physiotherapist Vishal Rai, were asymptomatic and were moved to Bhagwan Mahavir Das Hospital in Sonepat.

Narsingh Yadav, who is scheduled to take part in his first international tournament in four years at the Individual World Cup in Belgrade, is also a medal hopeful at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. On the other hand, Gurpreet Singh won gold in the Rome Ranking Series in the Greco-Roman 82kg category earlier in January.

Narsingh Yadav preparing for his return after a four-year ban with Tokyo Olympics around the corner

SAI released an official statement regarding the two wrestlers and the physiotherapist, who tested positive recently. The statement also revealed that the two wrestlers had recently joined the national camp in Sonepat following their Diwali break and were in quarantine.

“All three are asymptomatic and have been moved to Sonepat’s Bhagwan Mahavir Das Hospital as a precautionary measure,” the SAI said.
“The wrestlers had rejoined the national camp in SAI Sonepat after their Diwali break and were in quarantine. As per Standard Operating Procedures established by SAI, they were tested on the 6th day i.e. Friday 27th and their report came today."

The 2014 Asian Games bronze medalist, Narsingh Yadav, was preparing for his return to the sport after a four-year doping ban that cost him a slot at the Rio Olympics in 2016. The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 allowed him to qualify for the next year's Games. He will be competing against his rival and two-time Olympic medalist, Sushil Kumar, in the 74 kg category in the Olympics' qualifiers trails later. 

While the wrestlers prepare for the highly-anticipated Tokyo Olympics in 2021, there hasn't been any wrestling event held in India for the last few months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier in September, Indian grapplers Deepak Punia (86kg), Navin (65kg), and Krishan (125kg) also tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to the national camps.

Edited by Parimal

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