Three shuttlers return negative, Indian contingent ready for All England Championships

The Indian campaign was thrown into chaos after reports emerged that three players and a support staff had tested positive for COVID-19.

P.V. Sindhu will spearhead India's challenge at the All England Open Badminton Championships.   -  FILE PHOTO/ RITU RAJ KONWAR

The Indian badminton contingent has been cleared to participate in the All England Championships after the players, who had tested positive for COVID-19, returned negative in retests conducted by the governing body (BWF) on Wednesday.

Three Indian shuttlers and a support staff had tested positive on Tuesday while a few were awaiting confirmation on their inconclusive samples, leaving the players without much practice ahead of the tournament.

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"No positive tests in the team anyone. We are ready for All England," wrote India's Danish foreign coach Mathais Boe in a post on Instagram.

In an email to team managers on Wednesday, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton England also informed that "following further investigations and testing, all team members have been returned to the draw having successfully retested negative."

It also said that "following a higher-than-expected number of inconclusive and positive tests, a full investigation into the testing and laboratory process was conducted in consultation with representatives from Public Health England and the testing companies involved.

All England Championships delayed due to inconclusive COVID reports  

"During the process of that investigation, sufficient doubt was raised over the accuracy of the batches of tests submitted by Badminton England, that it was deemed appropriate to retest.

"Following the retest and further investigations, it has been determined that the result of the retest will be one used."

Earlier, BWF and Badminton England had delayed the start of the event by a couple of hours following a "significant number" of inconclusive COVID-19 test results.

The prestigious Super 1000 tournament was earlier scheduled to start at 9 am GMT.

All England Championships: Three Indian shuttlers test positive for COVID-19  

The Indian campaign was thrown into chaos after reports emerged that three players and a support staff had tested positive for COVID-19.

India's badminton couple Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap were also left confused less than 24 hours before the start of the tournament after the latter's tests for COVID-19 came "inconclusive".

Saina too is waiting for her results for her COVID-19 tests and the duo had taken to Twitter to express their displeasure.

Saina and HS Prannoy had to go through a similar experience in Thailand in January when they had returned positive in a COVID-19 test but was cleared to compete later after further investigation.

Last October, Lakshya Sen along with Ajay Jayaram and Shubhankar Dey were forced out of the SaarLorLux Open after DK Sen had tested positive for COVID-19.