COVID-19 scare prompts Bajrang Punia, others to leave IIS

They have left for home after a contracted employee and an assistant coach tested positive for the virus last week.

Published: 25th August 2020 10:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2020 10:40 PM   |  A+A-

Star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia (Twitter|Photo)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The coronavirus scare has led to deferment of training at the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS) in Karnataka's Vijayanagar. Olympic-bound athletes, including wrestler Bajrang Punia (65kg) and boxer Vikas Krishan (69kg), were training at the facility.

They have left for home after a contracted employee and an assistant coach tested positive for the virus last week.

"Training was stopped soon after the assistant coach tested positive. Athletes have been advised to stay in isolation until complete contact tracing is done. Those who came in direct contact with the coach are tested for the virus. The coach has been serving the mandatory quarantine period away from the campus," an IIS official told The New Indian Express.

 "The wrestlers and boxer Krishan were anyway supposed to leave. Recent developments forced them to leave earlier than scheduled as a precautionary measure," added the official.

It was learnt that the wrestlers and boxers left the facility on August 17. The national camp for male wrestlers competing in Olympic weight categories will begin at the SAI Centre in Sonepat from September 1.

Even when sporting activities were stalled across disciplines since the lockdown was imposed in March, training was going on at IIS. Bajrang and Jitender Kinha (74kg) were training under Georgian coach Shako Bentinidis. Wrestlers Pooja Dhanda (57kg) and Gaurav Baliyan (74kg) were also training there for the last couple of months.

"We (him, coach and Jitender) left IIS last week. Now we are training in my residence. I didn't come in contact with the person who tested positive at IIS," said Bajrang.

While elite athletes have left, around 28 boxers including Chennai's S Kalaivani and Manju Bombariya apart from junior track and field athletes are present at the Vijayanagar institute.

"The athletes have been following Covid-19 protocols since March. Following the latest development, they have been asked to stay in their rooms before we bring the situation under control. Training will resume soon," said the official.


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