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Athletics Federation requests government to prioritize vaccine for athletes headed to Tokyo Olympics  

Athletes are undergoing preparations for the Tokyo Olympics scheduled in late July 2021
Athletes are undergoing preparations for the Tokyo Olympics scheduled in late July 2021
Gaurav Kadam
Modified 17 Sep 2020, 14:33 IST

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI), the apex body governing athletics in the country, has requested the government to consider prioritizing the vaccination of athletes who will be headed to the Tokyo Olympics next year, whenever the vaccine is available for safe use.

AFI President Adille Sumariwalla was part of a webinar on Wednesday along with noted personalities in sports such as Pullela Gopichand, Reeth Abraham, Nisha Millet and Boria Majumdar. The discussion involved sports and fitness amid the lockdown and the way ahead.

During the webinar, Sumariwalla said that they had communicated with the government and requested them to consider the Olympic-bound athletes for priority vaccination.

"We have already discussed this with the government and told them we will need it (vaccine) for our athletes going to the Olympics. We need to make sure once the vaccine comes out, they (Olympic-bound athletes) should be among the first batches to get it and the discussion regarding that has already happened," Sumariwalla said.

The Government of India is considering the front line workers (medical professionals), Indian army personnel and some other categories as the major priority of people who would be inoculated with the vaccine, whenever it is available.

Several countries around the world, including India, are trying to develop a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.

Sumariwalla also said that the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) must be aware that athletes are taking vaccines for their health and not to cheat.

"I don't think there is any issue with dope control because it is a worldwide thing. WADA would have taken enough cognizance of the fact that these are not performance enhancing drugs and that they have been taken to protect the health and well being," he added.

The Tokyo Olympics has been postponed to take place next year due to the pandemic and will be scheduled between 23 July - 8 August 2021.

Published 17 Sep 2020, 14:33 IST
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