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Deliberate attempts to hide injury: TOPS CEO Garg's letter to athletes

In a move to curb such instances, the sports ministry had launched the Central Athlete Injury Management System (CAIMS) last year to help athletes in their rehabilitation and progress.

Published: 24th May 2022 12:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2022 12:15 AM   |  A+A-

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For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Are elite athletes hiding injuries? Going by a Sports Authority of India letter, yes, at least some are. That too after the sports ministry had launched a centralised injury tracking and management system that was aimed at monitoring even physiological and anthropometric development. According to the letter written by TOPS chief executive officer Pushpendra Kumar Garg, athletes are hiding injuries.

In a move to curb such instances, the sports ministry had launched the Central Athlete Injury Management System (CAIMS) last year to help athletes in their rehabilitation and progress. Another objective of the programme was to minimise instances of injured athletes participating in international meets. The project was first aimed at monitoring Target Olympics Podium (TOP) Scheme athletes. At present, there are 104 athletes in core and 244 in the development group.

According to the letter written to all TOPS athletes, Garg said that: "It has come to the notice of the undersigned (TOPS CEO) that the TOP Scheme athletes are not fully utilizing the services under CAIMS. Furthermore in certain cases deliberate attempts to hide injury have come to the light. The matter is being taken up seriously."

Monitoring athletes, if they do not register in the CAIMS, would mean they can hoodwink authorities. There have been instances when medical checks are conducted on athletes who are going abroad for participating in international competitions. The letter dated May 19, also advised all athletes to use CAIMS facilities. "In view of the above, you are advised to utilize the services under CAIMS. In case of injury, you are to first connect with your respective Athlete Relationship Manager (ARM), who will guide you through the seamless and hassle-free injury management process under CAIMS. Under no circumstances, any TOPS athlete may hide his/her injury and is requested to report it immediately to his ARM for information, even when no intervention is being sought under CAIMS."

In a January report in this newspaper, the Mission Olympic Cell had decided to put the TOP Scheme development group athletes through medical tests during induction and at least twice a year. The results would be tied with the CAIMS. The system, according to the letter, was launched in 2021 "... as a referral-based injury and illness management system catering to athletes under TOP Scheme programme training at various locations. The mandate covers the entire gamut of injury management including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation."  

There have been occasions when Indian athletes hide injury and compete in not just domestic but also international tournaments too. There were athletes even at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics who were injured and performed below their personal bests.  



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