NEW DELHI: The Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra on Monday made it clear that there will be no compromise when it comes to the health and safety of Indian athletes. This after calls for the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed gathered pace across the globe in the wake of the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus.
“I am personally in touch on regular and continuous basis with Union Ministry of Sports, Sports Authority of India, International Olympic Committee, National Sports Federations in India, with Athletes through the NSF’s and all stakeholders regarding the 2020 Olympics and preparations for Olympics,” Batra said in an official statement.
Batra also added that all Olympic sports International Federations and 206 National Olympic Committees had a video call with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach on 17th and 19th March respectively to discuss COVID-19 and the Olympics.
“All NOCs have to get back to IOC this week on their preparations and the health of Athletes in their respective countries. The health & safety of athletes is prime concern of IOA and of the Union Sports Ministry and there will be no compromise in this regard,” he stated.
The men’s and women’s hockey teams, athletics and weightlifting athletes are currently training in their camps. Many of the probables are mostly back home while some of them are training privately in their respective training camps under strict control.
Canada became the first country to pull out of the Tokyo Games due to the coronavirus and Australia told its athletes to prepare for an Olympics next year, as Japan and the IOC talked about the prospect of a possible postponement of the Games for the first time.
The Olympics are looking increasingly uncertain to begin, as per schedule on July 24 this year, with the IOC also now saying that they will consider all options, including postponement, in four weeks from now.
The deadly virus, which was first discovered in China has wreaked havoc on Olympic preparations of athletes, including those from India.
Multiple qualifying events have been suspended and training trips abroad are off the table thanks to strict travel restrictions which are in place all over the world.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India has crossed 400.