In a heartbreaking turn of events for Indian shuttler HS Prannoy will be forced to pull out of BWF Super-1000 event Thailand Open even though he returned a COVID-19 ‘false positive’ as confirmed by the game’s governing body BWF in a press release.

“BWF can confirm four players tested positive for COVID-19 in Bangkok, Thailand today after the third round of mandatory testing was conducted on Monday 11 January, 2021. BWF was informed this morning hours before the start of the YONEX Thailand Open – the first tournament of the Asian Leg of HSBC BWF World Tour,” a press statement from BWF read.

“The four players included two from India, one from Germany, and one from Egypt. Upon retesting the same specimens, one player from India, and both players from Germany and Egypt were found to be negative. These three players will be tested again today,” the statement added.

As Zee News reported earlier, the two Indian shuttlers were 2012 London Olympics medallist Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy. It is now understood that out of the two, Prannoy’s sample has returned a ‘false positive’. “One Indian player remains positive and is in isolation for a minimum of 10 days at the hospital. That person will be tested again today also. The match involving this player was declared a walkover. Today’s match featuring the roommate of this player has also been declared a walkover. That player is in self-quarantine and also subject to another test today,” the BWF statement read.

Saina Nehwal and her husband Parupalli Kashyap have as a result both been withdrawn from the Thailand Open. Zee News now understands that Prannoy’s sample will once against be tested to confirm the ‘false negative’ report.

“The entire Indian team has been categorised high risk by Thai health authorities and all players and team entourage are currently self-quarantining in their rooms at the hotel and will be subject to a PCR test today. Each individual is subject to daily testing until further notice from the Department of Disease Control, but players can continue to play upon producing a negative result,” the BWF statement read.

“India players scheduled to play today will be allowed to come to the venue. No coaches, managers or other personnel from Team India are allowed,” the statement added.
Saina, a London Olympics bronze-medallist, was scheduled to play Kisona Salvaduray of Malaysia in the first round on Tuesday, while Prannoy and Kashyap were supposed to face Malaysia’s eighth seed Lee Zii Jia and Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue respectively.

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