IOA draws contingency plan; SAI for athletes to travel directly to Tokyo | Tokyo Olympics News

NEW DELHI: Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has drawn up a contingency plan for the country’s Tokyo-bound sportspersons if they test positive upon arrival in Japan or during the duration of the multi-sport spectacle.
TOI has learned that IOA has made arrangements in Tokyo for emergency purposes in case any Indian athlete reports positive for Covid-19 during his/her daily round of testing. These athletes, preferably asymptomatic, will be isolated and quarantined in service apartments booked nearby the Games Village by the IOA as per the protocols laid down by the Japanese health department.
The Games’ Organising Committee (OC) would be requested to allow such Indian athletes to isolate at these facilities in a homely environment. For symptomatic athletes, it would be best left to the OC to take a reasonable call.
Meanwhile, the country’s premier athletes and squad members who have been training abroad in different locations like Zagreb (shooters), Russia (Bajrang Punia), Poland (Vinesh Phogat), Portugal (Neeraj Chopra) and USA (Mirabai Chanu) ) have been encouraged by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to remain stationed at their respective training bases till the beginning of the Games and travel directly to Tokyo to minimise the risk of catching Covid-19 during transit through airports.
“Due to the second surge of Covid 19 in India, athletes missed out on international competitions in April. However, as things opened up, the federations and SAI jointly decided to send athletes abroad for training and competition exposure. Efforts have been made to plan the international exposure trips in a way that athletes can stay in one country for a good length of time and travel directly to Tokyo for the Olympics from there. This decision was taken to reduce the risk of exposing them to infection during transit through airports, which may happen if they travel back and forth from their international destinations,” SAI director general, Sandip Pradhan, told TOI.
“Travelling from one country to another also makes it necessary for athletes to observe quarantine in both countries which means that they will lose out on their training schedule at this crucial juncture. Some federations are planning international exposures for their athletes in June, we have suggested to them to check the feasibility of creating travel plans such that athletes go for training and competition abroad and go straight to Tokyo from there,” he added.
Several Olympic-bound athletes are already training abroad and are getting full support from the SAI in terms of funds to stay and train abroad, as well as vaccination support abroad.

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