NEW DELHI: Professional sport was brought to a grinding halt across the globe as the Covid-19 pandemic spread in March. But the resumption of many sports competitions in recent weeks despite being played in bio-secure bubbles failed to prevent some sports persons from being infected by the coronavirus.
Here’s a list of some prominent sports stars who have tested Covid-19 positive so far and their health status: Cristiano Ronaldo (footballer)
The latest high-profile sportsperson to have contracted the coronavirus is football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. The 35-year-old five-time Ballon d’Or winner is asymptomatic, but was immediately dropped from Portugal’s Nations League game against Sweden on Wednesday and put in isolation. The announcement of Ronaldo’s positive result came two days after he played in the 0-0 draw in France.
Dustin Johnson (golfer)
The novel coronavirus has also gripped the world number one golf player Dustin Johnson, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The 36-year-old American, who last competed at September’s US Open, has withdrawn from this week’s CJ Cup in Las Vegas as he self-isolates. The PGA Tour said in a statement that Johnson notified officials he was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and was given another test which came back positive.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (footballer)
AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who first tested positive on September 24, has now fully recovered from the coronavirus and is available for the derby against Inter Milan scheduled to be played on October 17. The Swedish superstar was given the all-clear to end his quarantine period and return to action after testing negative for coronavirus on Friday last week.
Brazilian star Neymar turned tested Covid-19 positive on September 2. He contracted the virus while holidaying in Ibiza, following the 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in Lisbon. A subsequent test returned negative after he spent 10 days in quarantine. Neymar expressed his happiness to return to training at PSG, tweeting to say – “I went back to training, super happy #CORONAOUT,”.
Novak Djokovic (tennis player)
World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic embroiled himself in controversy when he was found to be Covid-19 positive along with his wife Jelena Djokovic in the month of June. Djokovic was criticised for organising the Adria Tour, a philanthropic tournament to raise money for the underprivileged in Serbia as social distancing norms were not followed.
Vinesh Phogat (Wrestler)
India’s top female wrestler Vinesh Phogat tested positive for Covid-19 in August, but was asymptomatic. The 26-year-old is the only Indian woman wrestler to have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics so far. Vinesh was also among five athletes chosen for the country’s highest sporting honour – the Khel Ratna this year.
Manpreet Singh (Hockey player)
India men’s hockey team skipper Manpreet was one of six hockey players to test positive for COVID-19 at the team’s training base in Bengaluru in August after the team arrived for the national camp. Manpreet said going through a stressful isolation period while recovering from coronavirus has made him a mentally strong player who is now equipped to tackle any situation on the field.
Shahid Afridi (Former cricketer)
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi became the first high-profile cricketer to be infected with Covid-19 in June. Afridi was actively involved in his charity work as the head of a foundation named after him. Following the coronavirus outbreak, he was seen outdoors on many occasions, mainly for his charity work.
Kevin Durant (Basketball player)
Kevin Durant, one of the biggest stars in the NBA, was one of the four Brooklyn Nets players who tested positive for the coronavirus in March. Utah Jazz defensive standout Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive.