Skipper Manpreet Singh among five India hockey players to test positive for COVID 

The players are now in quarantine at the SAI campus in Bengaluru, where they had returned for a training camp after a break.

By Rahul Venkat

Indian hockey men’s team captain Manpreet Singh, goalkeeper Krishan Pathak, midfielder Jaskaran Singh, and defenders Surender Kumar and Varun Kumar have tested positive for COVID-19 in Bengaluru on Friday.

The Indian hockey team members had travelled together to the Sports Authority of India (SAI)’s National Centre for Excellence in Bengaluru for a camp after a month-long break at home.

The reports of the initial rapid test, conducted upon arrival to the camp, had returned negative for all team members.

However, skipper Manpreet Singh and defender Surender Kumar experienced some COVID-19 symptoms soon after.

The duo, along with 10 other members who travelled with them to Bengaluru, were then administered another test on Thursday, which turned out to be positive for five members. A few other test results are still awaited.

"I have self-quarantined at the SAI campus. I am doing fine and hope to recover very soon,” said Manpreet Singh.

“I am happy that the SAI made the testing of athletes mandatory. The proactive step helped us identify the problem in time.”

Manpreet Singh was among six hockey players who contracted the coronavirus. Photo: Hockey India

All Indian hockey players were in quarantine on arrival at the national camp in adherence to the Health Ministry guidelines, and so the five affected players did not come in contact with other team members.

No word on national camp

Both the men’s and women’s Indian hockey teams had earlier spent more than two months at the SAI campus during a strict period of lockdown in India.

The teams had been allowed to travel home for a break in June after travel restrictions were relaxed.

The Indian hockey teams had planned to resume normal training with the national camp, with an eye on the Tokyo Olympics, which is about a year away.

However, no announcement has yet been made on the status of the national camp after this latest development.