Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy were cleared to participate in the Thailand Open on Tuesday as their COVID-19 test results came out negative, which invalidated their previous positive results announced just a few hours ago.
The development was confirmed by both Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Association of India (BAI).
“Both Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy have been cleared to participate in the ongoing Yonex Thailand Open after the fourth-round tests reports confirmed that both shuttlers have been tested negative for COVID-19,” BAI said in a statement.
“BAI have taken up the matter with topmost BWF officials to ensure if tests were negative, matches for respective players should be rescheduled and no walkover is given,” BAI added.
It was utter chaos earlier in the day as Nehwal tested positive for COVID-19 and was ruled out of the competition subsequently. Prannoy had tested negative after being announced as positive for the virus as well.
Parupalli Kahsyap was also asked to withdraw from the event as he was in close proximity with his wife Nehwal.
The day has started off on another bitter note as reigning World Champion PV Sindhu got eliminated in the first round itself. However, it ended on a bright note as the results of the retest cleared Nehwal and Kashyap for the competition.
“Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) can confirm three of the four players who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier today at the Asian Leg of the HSBC BWF World Tour have been cleared to take their place in the draw,” the apex body said.
“They are confirmed as Saina Nehwal (India), HS Prannoy (India), and Jones Ralfy Jansen (Germany),” BWF added in its statement.
The BWF also confirmed that the duo are not infected with the virus at present even though they were tested as positive before.
“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.”