Kidambi Srikanth slams COVID-19 testing experience in Thailand, says haven’t come to ‘shed blood’

Shuttler Kidambi Srikanth’s experience at the Thailand tour has been far from pleasant as he shared pictures from his bleeding nose, following the ‘unacceptable’ treatment being meted out to the player while conducting coronavirus tests. 

“We take care of ourselves for the match not to come and shed blood for THIS. However, I gave 4 tests after I have arrived and I can`t say any of them have been pleasant. Unacceptable,” Srikanth tweeted while sharing pictures.

Srikanth is in Bangkok for the Thailand open which commenced on Tuesday and will go on until January 17. On Sunday, Olympic gold medalist Carolina Marin had expressed her displeasure with the food being given to the athletes.

Also, earlier on Tuesday, Indian badminton players Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy, and Parupalli Kashyap withdrew from the tournament. Nehwal and Prannoy tested positive for COVID-19. However, a fourth test revealed all of them to be COVID-19 negative and were eventually reinstated into the tournament. 

The Indian squad, which travelled to Bangkok to participate in the Yonex Thailand Open followed by Toyota Thailand Open, had tested negative during the first two tests that were conducted. However, Olympic bronze medallist Nehwal and Prannoy tested positive during the third Test, which was done on Monday.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced later on Tuesday that Saina and Prannoy could compete, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) said that “Kashyap`s participation will depend on result of his test”, conducted on Tuesday afternoon.

Apart from the Indian trio, Germany’s Jones Ralfy Jansen and Egypt’s Adham Hatem Elgamal had also tested positive after the Monday tests. While Jansen’s decision too has been reversed and he can now compete, Elgamal has been forced to withdraw as his antibody test was negative, said BWF.

All three players will play their rescheduled first-round match on Wednesday. “Nehwal, Prannoy and Jansen tested positive on the PCR test but their antibody IgG was positive. A positive antibody test means a person has been infected with the Covid-19 virus at some point in the past. It does not mean they are currently infected. The trio all contracted Covid-19 in late 2020. The committee was satisfied that they are not infected and do not pose a danger to the tournament,” said the BWF statement. 

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Sagar Biswas

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