New Delhi: The first competition of the Indian Grand Prix (IGP) series slated for March 20 will be open only for athletes who are part of national coaching camps, Athletics Federation of India (AFI) said on Tuesday.
"In view of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we regret to inform you that the Indian Grand Prix-1 to be held at SAI NS-NIS Patiala on 20th March 2020 will now be conducted only for the athletes who are part of National Coaching Camps," AFI said in a release.
The AFI on Monday had said that the first two competitions of the Indian Grand Prix (IGP) series will be held without any spectators and all the athletes coming from outside will be allowed to enter the NS-NIS campus after a medical check-up by AFI/SAI medical team at the SAI NS-NIS gate.
All national camps, except for those where athletes are preparing for Tokyo Olympics, were on Tuesday postponed until further order in view of the COVID-19 pandemic with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) making arrangements for the return of the trainees to their homes.
"Due to Covid-19, SAI has decided that: All National camps shall be postponed except for those where athletes are being trained as part of Olympics #Tokyo2020 preparation," Rijiju had tweeted on Tuesday.
Given the directives of the government, AFI said no one will be allowed entry.
"Following the necessary directions and advisory regarding entry into the SAI NS-NIS campus issued to AFI, we regret to inform you that your entry for the IGP-1 competition is not accepted. The entry fee for the same will be refunded within two weeks," the release said.
"However, in order to provide you fair chance to compete in athletics competitions, AFI will introduce new competitions once prevailing conditions improve and restrictions are lifted."
The second competition of the Indian Grand Prix series scheduled to be held on March 25 was on Monday shifted from Sangrur to NIS Patiala.
COVID-19 has so far led to more than 7,000 deaths globally.
More than 100 people have so far tested positive in India apart from three deaths.
IGP-1 (Only for campers) Event List:
Men: 200m, 800m, 400m (H), Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put, Javelin Throw;
Women: 100m, 200m, 800m, Long Jump, Shot Put, Javelin Throw.