Gopichand Academy to resume after Sikki Reddy tests negative for COVID

Training at the national camp had been suspended after the badminton player and physio, from the 21 personnel, tested negative on Thursday.

By Subhayan Dutta

Indian badminton doubles player N Sikki Reddy has now tested negative for COVID-19, two days after she had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Upon joining the national camp in Hyderabad on August 7, all 21 athletes, coaches and support staff - which included PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth - had to undergo mandatory tests as per guidelines laid down by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Along with Sikki Reddy, physiotherapist Kiran Challagunda too was found positive for the virus but they warranted another test.

“The decision to test them again was taken because both were asymptomatic and even their family members were COVID-19 negative,” the SAI said on Saturday. 

The 26-year-old Sikki Reddy said she never showed any symptoms of the virus before and after the test but was understandably concerned nevertheless.

“I was honestly worried that I should not be responsible for anyone else being affected because of me,” she told the Sportstar. “Definitely, this is great news.”

Pullela Gopichand has announced that the national camp will resume from Monday, August 17.

The two positive cases resulted in the Pullela Gopichand Academy shutting its doors immediately for sanitisation purposes. Training, however, will resume at the academy from Monday, August 17 following the turn of events.

"Since all campers are COVID negative, we have decided to go ahead with the camp, following the SOP,” national chief badminton coach Pullela Gopichand confirmed.

August has seen a few national sports federations announcing the start of national camps for Olympic hopefuls.

After the hockey camp decided to resume as per schedule, the badminton, archery and wrestling camps are also set to kick off in the coming weeks.