New Delhi [India], March 21 (ANI): The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has allowed non-residential athletes to train at its National Centre of Excellence (NCOEs) but "Come and Play" athletes have not been permitted in the NCOEs where the probable athletes for the Olympics are undergoing training.
"All non-residential athletes who may wish to resume training may be allowed to do so on residential basis," Shiv Sharma, Regional Director, SAI, said in a circular, dated March 18.
"In view of the upcoming Olympics, Come and Play athletes may not be permitted in the NCOEs where probable athletes for the Olympics are undergoing training (Patiala, Bengaluru, Sonepat, Lucknow, Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi, Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, New Delhi)," it added.
Also, the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) CEO Rajesh Rajagopalan has expressed concerns over the surge in coronavirus cases among the athletes and has urged the federations to advise all athletes to follow all safety protocol issued by the local authorities/organizers during domestic and international competitions and training.
"With the Olympics fast approaching and with the resumption of the domestic and international competition calendar post relaxation of Covid restrictions worldwide, it has become imperative to send the athletes/national teams for participation in these tournaments/events to aid in their preparation for the Olympics. However, it has been noticed that there has been a surge in the Covid positive cases detected among the athletes returning to
the training base after participation in these exposures," Rajagopalan said in a letter to all the National Sports Federations (NSFs), dated March 18.
"As you are well aware, several of these athletes are probable for the Olympics and are the nation's medal hopes; contracting Covid at this crucial juncture will have an adverse impact on the health of the athlete as well as for the Indian performance at Tokyo. While the importance of participating in these exposures cannot be denied, it is imperative that we exercise due diligence and take all necessary precautions while sending athletes outside their training base to minimize the adverse impact. With a view to mitigate any further infection to our Olympic-bound athletes, it is requested that the Federations may advise all athletes to follow all safety protocol issued by the local authorities/organizers during domestic and international competitions and training," he added. (ANI)