Three winners of this year’s National Sports Awards will not be attending the virtual ceremony on August 29 after testing positive for COVID-19, Sports Authority of India (SAI) said in a statement on Thursday.
Among the absentees will be shuttler Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who earlier in the day confirmed that he has tested positive for COVID-19. Sixty five of the 74 award winners will be present at various SAI and National Informatics Centres in the country to receive the awards.
“There are 74 awards in seven categories. Total 65 award winners will be attending the function from various locations. Nine winners will not attend due to multiple reasons such as ill health, being quarantined, tested positive or not in the country etc,” an official statement said.
“Three award winners after having tested positive will not attend the function,” the release added.
President Ramnath Kovind will present the National Sports Awards to the winners virtually. President Kovind will be attending from the President’s house, via video conferencing.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and other ministry officials and dignitaries will be present in Vigyan Bhawan for the award ceremony.
“All health and safety protocols, in keeping with the guidelines of the Health Ministry, are being followed at all the venues where dignitaries and awardees will be present. Further, the Sports Ministry has advised every award winner to undergo a Covid-19 test before reporting to the venue,” SAI said.
Cricketer Rohit Sharma, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, Paralympian Mariyappan Thangavelu, Table Tennis player Manika Batra and women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal will receive the prestigious Khel Ratna Award.
Awardees who are unable to attend the function from one of the various centers or are not in India on August 29, will be presented with the award later.
The programme will be telecast live on Doordarshan.