SAI announces new measures for Oly bound athletes

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New Delhi [India], April 29 (ANI): With a surge in Covid-19 cases across the country, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had already taken measures to ensure Olympic-bound athletes are tested on a weekly basis, so that their health is monitored constantly.

However, in view of the need for Olympics-bound athletes to continue their training without disruption, SAI on Thursday took a decision to allow training even during the quarantine period in a controlled environment. Athletes are required to go through mandatory quarantine when they reach a SAI centre from a home break or a competition.

“Innovative methods have been adopted wherein small group of athletes, coach and sparring (training) partners will be formed wherever possible for Olympic bound athletes. The athlete and this group will remain isolated from the rest of the environment till the quarantine period is over. Training in a smaller group during quarantine period will also ensure that large scale transmission of the virus is prevented,” said SAI in an official statement.

During the quarantine period, general fitness and monitored training on a staggered schedule would be allowed. The coach/support staff/sparring partners involved in training for such an athlete would form part of the individual athlete’s group and follow the same regime as the athlete and would not be allowed to interact with athletes/support staff in the bio-bubble until the test results of the whole group come out negative at the end of the initial quarantine period of 7 days.

If any member of the athlete’s group returns a positive result at the end of the quarantine period, the whole group will remain in quarantine for a further period of 7 days. The entire group would be allowed to merge with the regular training group already in the bio-bubble, once every member returns a negative result.

Even if the athlete is found positive but is asymptomatic fitness activities through video conference under strict medical supervision will be carried out. The counselling sessions for such athletes will also be organised to ensure the high morale of an athlete is maintained.

Further, SAI in consultation with the Indian Olympic Association will decide on a grant of leave to Olympics bound athletesupport staff. Leave will be granted only as an exception by NSF and SAI as it has been observed that most athletes got infected while travelling. (ANI)

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