New Delhi [India], April 9 (ANI): In view of the rising cases of coronavirus across the country and keeping the health and safety of athletes in mind, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has taken the decision to allow summer vacations across all National Centres of Excellence (NCOEs) for a period of three weeks.
However, elite athletes who are part of the national camps and are training for Olympics and other international competitions at the NCOEs will continue to stay and train in their respective campuses. Their sparring partners will also be allowed to train with them.
Athletes who have to attend classes or have to appear in examinations will be allowed to stay in the campus and will be provided all facilities. All athletes and staff who stay back will undergo a weekly RT PCR test
SAI will arrange for the safe return of all NCOE athletes who are heading home. Athletes will be provided air tickets from the NCOE to the nearest airport of their hometown and those living within a 500-km radius will be given AC 3 Tier train tickets.
As stated in the latest SAI SOP, SAI will conduct weekly RT-PCR tests for athletes, coaches and support staff who stay back on campus to ensure close monitoring of the Covid situation.
SAI is making every effort to keep the athletes and support staff in the bio-bubble safe and conducted mass precautionary RT-PCR tests at NCOEs in Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Sonepat, and Lucknow.
Out of 1477 tests that were conducted in these centers, only 17 people tested positive which is 1.15% of the total tests done.
Also, SAI and Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) took a decision to include athletes, who have qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, in Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
The decision to add athletes who weren't a part of TOPS was taken during the 56th MOC meeting. The meeting was attended by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and SAI officials and representatives from the other federations.
"Government is putting a lot of effort to provide all kinds of help and facilities to athletes that is why this decision has been taken," a source in the know of developments had told ANI.
"This will certainly motivate the athletes. Some big names who are roped in TOPS are Fouaad Mirza, his name would be officially added in coming days but approved on principle," the source added. (ANI)