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SAI seeks report over flouting of Covid norms at wrestling nationals

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New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has asked for a report from the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) after it was found that Covid-19 protocols were “allegedly flouted” on the first day of the national championship.

On Saturday, wrestling became the first major Olympic sport to hold its national championship following the outbreak of coronavirus. However, it was reported that social distancing norms and other procedures put in place by the sports ministry were flouted at the indoor arena of the Noida Stadium.

“The Sports Authority of India has taken cognisance of media reports which state that social distancing norms and other procedures in the SOPs for organising competitions amidst the coronavirus pandemic were allegedly flouted at the Wrestling National Championships held at the Noida Stadium on January 23,” a SAI statement read on Sunday.

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SAI director general Sandip Pradhan said, “We have taken up the matter with the Wrestling Federation of India and impressed upon them that the SOP for competitions has to be adhered to strictly. We have also sought a report from the federation on alleged violation, by Monday. The federation has assured compliance of protocol.”

SAI has also requested the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to sensitise all National Sports Federations (NSFs) to follow the covid-19 protocols strictly to ensure safety of athletes.

On December 26, the sports ministry had released an eight-page Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for organising competitions in the midst of a pandemic, in which it underlined that the events should be conducted ‘strictly in accordance with the guidelines of the union ministry of home affairs’.

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–IANS

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