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AFI Gives Nod to Outdoor Training, Bans Athletes from Handshakes, Hugging and Spitting

Neeraj Chopra (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Neeraj Chopra (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Athletics Federation of India gave Standard Operating Procedure for athletes to resume training at NIS Patiala and SAI Centre in Bengaluru.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has given green light to outdoor and gym training for athletes who are at the National Institute of Sport (NIS) in Patiala and Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru.

In a nine-page document, the AFI listed out its Standard Operating Procedure for resumption of training at the two centres. The Indian men's and women's hockey team probables have been in Bengaluru while track and field athletes, including star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, are at NIS Patiala.

Among the strict guidelines are bans on spitting, handshakes or hugs, walking or training in groups. Handheld equipment such as javelins, discuses, batons etc. are to be sanitised prior to and after usage and coaches are responsible to maintain social distancing at all times during training.

"Visit to barber shops/saloons/beauty parlours/shopping malls is STRICTLY prohibited," said the AFI in their guidelines. "Do not leave your hostel rooms except for training/medical/rehab purpose. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser if visiting ATM's and use sanitiser after operating ATM machine."

Atheltes have also been asked to "always wear full sleeves T-shirts, tights, shirts whenever stepping out of the room," AFI said.

"Make sure your belongings are not touched by others. Similarly, do not touch anything that does not belong to you. Take shower immediately after you reach your room. Do not wear same clothes after shower."

Saunas and ice baths will not be used and athletes are to "rush back" to their hostel rooms once done with training.

The athletes will not be allowed to leave the camps except in cases which can only be sanctioned by AFI President. Those leaving the camp/visiting their homes/or any other place outside the campus must go through a 14-day quaratine before rejoining the camp.

All the athletes have also been asked to download government of India's Aarogya Setu App for tracking COVID-19 infected people near them as well as assessing their own health from time to time.

The Ministry of Home Affairs while listing its guidelines for the extension of lockdown stated that sports complexes and stadiums will be opened for athletes.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday reiterated that sports activities will be conducted in sports complexes and stadia as per Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and respective state guidelines while gyms and swimming pools will remain closed.

"I'm happy to inform sportspersons and all concerned that sports activities will be conducted in sports complexes and stadia strictly in accordance with MHA guidelines and that of the States in which they are situated. However, use of gyms and swimming pools are still prohibited," Rijiju said in a tweet.

(With inputs from Agencies)