Irfan, four others test COVID positive

Four support staff were also positive; all have been quarantined

Olympics-bound race walker K.T. Irfan is among five elite track-and-field athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Sports Authority of India’s Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru.

The tests were conducted last Friday and those who returned positive have been kept under quarantine.

“At least five elite athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 when tests were conducted on Friday. They have been kept isolated from others,” a source at the SAI Centre told PTI on condition of anonymity.

The source said another male race walker also tested positive, but his name could not be confirmed.

“Four male players and 1 female player and 4 support staff tested positive for COVID-19,” the SAI source stated.

“The female player had come from home. The players were tested on 6th and their results came positive on 7th. They received their first vaccine dose on 29th April.

“One male player and one female player were not vaccinated. They have been tested again on the 10th and their results are awaited tomorrow [14th]. One athlete would also be tested once more in 2-3 days’ time.” It is learnt that none of the female race walkers are among those who returned positive.

The 31-year-old Irfan had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics way back in early 2019 after finishing fourth in the 20 km event of the Asian Race Walking Championships in Nomi, Japan.

The SAI source said the whole hockey team training at the Centre other than one player has tested negative.

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