AFI strict on athletes leaving camp; IGP on schedule

Those who have left the SAI centres – in Patiala and Bengaluru – are also likely to face stern action. They will not be included in the national camp.

AFI president Adille Sumariwala made it clear that athletes who have gone home will not return to the camp.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES


The extended waiting period for athletes has been frustrating for many but the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is not too keen on relaxing the norms citing health and security issues.

Those who have left the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres – in Patiala and Bengaluru – are also likely to face stern action with the AFI making it clear they would not be included in the national camp. Their participation in the scheduled Indian Grand Prix on September 12 is also uncertain.

“We are very clear on this. Those who have gone back will not be part of the national camp. They, their state associations and employers have all been informed accordingly,” AFI president Adille Sumariwala told Sportstar.

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Among those who have gone home and are training on their own are quartermiler Arokia Rajiv, 400m hurdler Jabir MP, javelin thrower Vipin Kasana and race-walker Manish Rawat. Of these, Manish and Jabir had been named in the latest national camp updated this month while Kasana (who returned from South Africa with other throwers) and Rajiv had been training in Patiala since lockdown.

“The SOPs are there for a reason. These athletes will not be back in the national camp. As for their participation in IGP or other events, we will decide later,” Sumariwalla reiterated. Asked about Neeraj Chopra, who had also gone home, Sumariwalla said the thrower was already back at the NIS and in quarantine. “It was an urgent family emergency, he explained it to us, left and came back within a couple of days and is isolated right now. That’s different,” he explained.

IGP on schedule

He also said that the IGP in Patiala, the first competition amid COVID-19, was expected to be held as scheduled but a final decision would be taken later. “We are monitoring the situation on a day-to-day basis. We are in constant contact with the sports ministry, the Punjab government, SAI and the MHA on this. As of now it is on but a final decision will be taken about 15 days before the actual date and arrangements made accordingly,” he said.

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