here is “no way out” of some “unfair” restrictions that Tokyo Olympics organisers have imposed on Indian athletes in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, IOA President Narinder Batra conceded on Wednesday, asking the country’s contingent to be mentally prepared for added curbs.
Batra said the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is still awaiting clarifications on several issues like athletes’ training and food arrangements during the Games and hopes to have resolution for some of the issues before the event opens on July 23.
“We are trying to prepare ourselves mentally according to the present situation and if there are certain situations, we have to live with them, there is no way out,” Batra told PTI in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
India is among 11 countries identified as high risk by the Japanese authorities, who have asked the athletes travelling from here to get tested for COVID-19 for seven days before departure and be in hard quarantine for three days after landing in Japan.
Batra said negotiations are still on to ease restrictions on training during quarantine.
“Tokyo organising committee has been very co-operative and very helpful. Every country has different guidelines. Guidelines related to the pandemic are not laid down by the organising committee, these are always laid down by the respective governments.
“So, it takes time to discuss and negotiate with the government and get response. They are trying their best, and whatever responses we are getting are positive,” he asserted.
“Many issues have been resolved, and on many things, we have asked for more clarifications but there is still sufficient time and we hope to get all the clarifications we need.”
The clarifications that the IOA has sought is with regards identification of training areas for the Indians.
“Clarifications like where athletes will have their food, where they will have their gym training, where they will be able to train. About first three days, it’s not quarantine but there are some special conditions.
“We are still awaiting replies on those parts, rest all have been clarified, testing labs have increased and many other issues have been sorted.”
The stricter regulations will not apply for Indian athletes travelling from non- high risk countries, like Italy or other parts of Europe where a lot of them are training right now.
“…the conditions that have been put that we cannot train 3-5 days before events are unfair because that is the time when the athletes attain their peak. If you let them sit idol and their diets are not taken care of, it is unfair.
“So we still await clarification, it might be that these things are resolved but as of today, I feel that the conditions are a little unfair for these 11 countries but I can only speak for India,” Batra said.
new source: indianexpress