Now, athletes to gain entry to SAI centres only after producing COVID negative certificate

Earlier, athletes and support staff joining national camps were tested for the virus on arrival at the SAI centres. Given the fresh SOP, they will now have to take tests before leaving for the camps.

Published: 15th September 2020 07:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th September 2020 07:48 PM   |  A+A-

Sports Authority of India. (EPS)

The cost of the tests will be paid for by the SAI (File photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Unlike the past, elite athletes, coaches and support staff joining national camps at various SAI centres have to undergo a mandatory RT-PCR Covid-19 test 96 hours before travelling. As per the latest standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the Sports Authority of India, they would be allowed to enter the centre on producing a Covid-19 negative certificate.

Earlier, athletes joining national camps were tested for the virus on their arrival at the SAI centres. Given the fresh SOP, athletes and support staff will now have to take tests before leaving for SAI centres to be part of the camp. While NIS Patiala is hosting national camps for boxers, weightlifters and track and field athletes, a camp for male wrestlers began at SAI centre in Sonepat
on September 1. The men's and women's hockey teams are at the SAI centre in Bengaluru.

"The cost of all Covid-19 tests to be undertaken by athletes, coaches and support staff joining training will be paid by SAI," read a SAI statement. However, the SAI has also offered relaxation to those who could not undergo tests due to some unavoidable reasons. "If the athlete, coach or support staff is unable to undergo the test before travelling, due to unavoidable reason, he/she shall be tested through an RT-PCR test immediately on arrival," added the statement.

The SOP further said that the attendees will be retested again on the sixth day of reaching the camp. "Further, only athletes, coaches and support staff who are found negative for Covid-19 on retesting through RT-PCR on sixth day of quarantine after reaching the camp, would be allowed to resume sports activity after a total quarantine period of seven days. However, these athletes should not mingle with the athletes, coaches, support staff who are already in the bio-bubble/secure training environment from before, for a further period of seven more days."

The participants have to self-isolate themselves for 15 days prior to joining the training at the camp. For those, who are found positive for the virus, standard protocol as prescribed by the governments — centre and state — and the local bodies would be followed.

"The SOP is in continuation of the SOP released by SAI earlier, and includes procedural changes with regard to new trainees joining the training camps," said the statement.


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