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SAI, IOA start sensitisation prog for Olympic bound athletes

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New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) The Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Friday started a series of sensitisation programmes for Tokyo bound Indian contingent.

The interactive programme is designed to help athletes and support staff understand Covid-19 protocols, Japanese culture and anti-doping rules.

According to Prem Verma, deputy Chef-de-Mission of the Indian contingent, a number of issues raised by the IOA, including quarantine period for the Indian athletes, has been addressed by the Tokyo Organising Committee for Olympic Games (TOCOG) to India’s satisfaction.

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“There would no restriction on training of the Indians. But they cannot meet athletes from other countries for the first three days on their arrival in Tokyo Olympic Games village,” said Verma.

Verma said Indian athletes preparing for the Olympics overseas and reaching Tokyo directly would not face the restrictions applicable to those who have been residing in India for 14 days before departure.

“The TOCOG had increased the list of accredited laboratories for Covid-19 related tests to a number of cities across the country,” said Verma.

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Over the next few days, all athletes and coaches will undergo three modules, titled Life in Tokyo, Playing Clean, and From India with Pride.

Life in Tokyo explains the preparations for travel in the fortnight before departure, the formalities to be completed before travel, including vaccination, Covid-19 positive/negative reports, and anti-bodies test reports, and on arrival.

Athletes and support staff from hockey, judo, rowing, boxing, and wrestling attended the opening session on Life in Tokyo on Friday.

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World badminton champion PV Sindhu, table tennis player Sharath Kamal and fencer Bhavani Devi were among those who attended the first Playing Clean module, an anti-doping session conducted by officials of the National Anti-Doping Agency on Thursday.

SAI director general Sandip Pradhan said it was important to understand the protocols laid down by the organising committee.

“The Olympic Games is being held under different circumstances imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the duty and responsibility of each member of the contingent to feel comfortable and safe in the environment,” he said.

—IANS

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