'3 National Sports Award winners test positive for COVID'

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Three winners of this year’s National Sports Awards, including badminton player Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, have tested positive for COVID-19 and will not attend the virtual ceremony on August 29, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said on Thursday.

The SAI said that 65 of the 74 awardees will attend the first-ever virtual National Sports Awards from its centres across the country due to the pandemic.

“There are 74 awards in seven categories. Total 65 award winners will be attending the function from various locations, Nine award winners will not attend due to several reasons like being quarantined, tested positive, ill health or not in the country etc,” the SAI said in a statement.

“Three award winners after having tested positive will not attend the function,” it added without giving any names.

However, Satwiksairaj earlier confirmed his positive test while talking to PTI. The five chosen for the highest honour are cricketer Rohit Sharma, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, Paralympian Mariyappan Thangavelu, TT player Manika Batra and women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal.