After waiting for over two months owing to the lockdown, top Indian athletes and weightlifters were supposed to resume outdoor training at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala on Monday. However, they couldn’t resume as per plans, despite Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) assurance.
The athletes still remain in dark about when their training will resume. Though SAI gave a nod, various logistical challenges remain in hand. Several permissions including from the health ministry and local administration were pending, without which training could not resume.
While Weightlifting Federation of India secretary general Sahdev Yadav denied any training as of now, AFI too had no idea about it. The federations, however, remain hopeful of some activity soon.
The Sports ministry has maintained athletes’ health would not be compromised on, and training would not resume without local government approval. They feel there is no point in rushing things, and officials would want everything like a COVID task force, medical screening, and quarantine facilities to be put in place before athletes are allowed in.
In Patiala, the authority is still seeking the local government’s permission. In SAI Bengaluru, since the death of a cook due to the virus, the players are still in self-quarantine at the centre.