Thirty athletes and support staff in various disciplines were found to be positive for COVID-19 after 741 safety tests were conducted at the National Centers of Excellence in Patiala and Bengaluru, the Indian Sports Authority said on Wednesday.
However, the positive results in both centers do not include any athletes associated with the Olympic Games in Tokyo. India’s head boxing coach CA Kuttappa and cannonball coach Mohinder Singh Dhillon are among those who tested positive for the virus while driving recently at the National Sports Institute (NIS), a SAI source told PTI.
The SAI later issued a statement saying that the 313 and 428 tests were conducted in Patiala and Bengaluru, respectively. While 26 were positive for Patiala, Bengaluru’s number was four.
“Given the safety of athletes, coaches and Olympic-related support staff, the SAI conducted safety RT-PCR tests at the National Center of Excellence in Patiala and Bengaluru. Reports received today show that all Olympic-related athletes and in both COVID centers negatively, “the SAI statement said.
Of course, of the 26 positive cases in Patiala, 16 are athletes and the rest are support staff. The 16 positive results include 10 boxers and six athletes, the SAI source said.
In Bengaluru, the racing coach showed a positive test for the virus. “… the good thing is that not all positive cases are Olympic-related athletes. Positive athletes are isolated and the whole campus is rehabilitated.”
All weightlifters housed at the Higher Sports Institute returned negative for the virus. NIS Patiala is primarily a base for boxers, Olympic athletes, track and field athletes and weightlifters, along with athletes from some other disciplines.
The boxers who passed the tests were the Asian silver medalist Deepak Kumar and the gold medalist from India Open Sanjit. “Some more test results are expected at this time,” another source said.