This is the first case of Covid among the Tokyo-bound female pugilists. Simranjit had bagged an Olympic quota at the Asian qualifiers in March last year.
After 21 women boxers and support staff personnel, including high-performance director Raffaele Bergamasco and head coach Ali Qamar, had returned positive for Covid-19 at the camp here, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had moved the Olympic-bound pugilists as well as other campers, who tested negative in RT-PCR testing, in a safe zone at the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium.
Among those shifted included Olympic-qualified Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg), apart from Simranjit. Six-time world champion and quota holder, MC Mary Kom, has been training separately with her personal coaching staff.
After Simranjit’s positive result, the authorities have decided to halt training for the Olympic-bound women boxers for the time being and have told Lovlina and Pooja to leave for their respective home. Lovlina and Pooja have tested negative.
The latest development has dealt another blow to the Indian women boxing team’s preparation for Tokyo.
Previously, their scheduled training-cum-competition trip to Serbia was called off because of so many Covid positive cases at the camp.
In men’s boxing, Olympic-bound middleweight category boxer Ashish Kumar had earlier tested positive for Covid-19 during the Boxam international meet in Spain last month.
Tokyo-bound Amit Panghal-led eight-member men’s boxing contingent is currently in St Petersburg, Russia, to compete in the Governor Cup.
“After Covid-positive athletes come out of their isolation period, they should all mandatorily undergo tests for D-dimer, ECG and HCRT scan to rule out any post-Covid complications,” men’s team doctor, Karanjeet Singh, told TOI from St Petersburg.
“For Covid-positive athletes with no symptoms, D-dimer and ECG should be done. For athletes with symptoms, HCRT scan should also be added. After athletes clear all these tests, they should be allowed to resume training. We need to understand that athletes found negative upon retesting doesn’t mean they aren’t Covid-infected anymore.”
In a separate development, two Olympic-bound shooters have also tested positive, but one among them has recovered. 10m air rifle shooter Deepak Kumar is still under observation for Covid-19, while 25m pistol shooter Rahi Sarnobat has recovered.