Tokyo Olympics-bound Indian athletes will be allowed to train in small groups even during quarantine at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) campuses across the country. Every athlete reaching a SAI center has to undergo a mandatory seven-day isolation period.
The decision was made keeping in mind the need for the Games-bound athletes to continue with their training without disruption. SAI has also decided to conduct COVID-19 tests every week to monitor the health of the athletes.
According to a SAI statement, innovative methods have been adopted whereby small groups of athletes, coaches and training partners will be formed. Each group will remain detached from the rest until the quarantine period is over.
The SAI statement read:
“Training in a smaller group during quarantine period will also ensure that large scale transmission of the virus is prevented. 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. They won’t be allowed to interact with athletes/support staff in the bio-bubble until the test results of the whole group comes out negative at the end of the initial quarantine period of seven days.”
Entire group needs to be COVID-19 negative to merge with others
In case anyone in a group is found COVID-19 positive at the end of their quarantine period, everyone from that set will have to serve another seven days in isolation. The entire pack will be allowed to start training with others in the bio-bubble once each and every one tests negative.
If any athlete's test comes out COVID-19 positive but he/she is asymptomatic, his/her fitness regime will continue under strict medical protocols through video calls. SAI will also arrange counseling sessions for athletes to boost their morale.
Earlier, Tokyo Olympics-bound Indian paddler G Sathiyan had stated that serving long isolations at this point in time would be harsh on any athlete's body.
Sprinter Dutee Chand, who was in the India squad for the World Athletics Relays, had to spend seven days in quarantine upon her arrival at NIS Patiala in early April.