26 athletes test positive for Covid-19 in Patiala

New Delhi: Twenty-six athletes of the National Centre of Excellence in Patiala have tested positive for Covid-19, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said on Wednesday.

“Of the 313 tests conducted in Patiala, 26 people have tested positive while out of the 428 tests conducted in Bengaluru, four have been found positive for virus,” the SAI said in the statement. 

“Those who have tested positive are being isolated in the residential facilities within the campus. The campus has been sanitised and all precautionary measures are being taken to ensure complete safety of athletes,” it said. 

As a precautionary measure, the SAI also conducted Covid-19 RT-PCR tests for Olympic Games-bound athletes, coaches, and support staff. According to SAI, the reports received on Wednesday indicate that all Olympic-bound athletes in Patiala and Bengaluru have tested negative. 

Patiala is the main hub of track and field athletes. Besides a core group of 400 metres sprinters and throwers, top boxers and weightlifters train at the National Institute of Sports (NIS). 

Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh, both of whom have qualified for the Olympics, are training at the NIS. 

Bengaluru is the main training centre for the core group of hockey players. Both men’s and women’s hockey teams have qualified for the Olympics and they have been camping there for long. 

The SAI’s Southern Centre is also home to a race-walking team, along with middle- and long-distance runners.