SAI allows back quarantine violators, terms breach unintentional

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has pardoned the pugilists who stirred up a storm by “unintentionally” breaking COVID-19 quarantine protocol.

India’s top boxers will resume formal camp training from Monday following the end of their isolation period.   -  AP (REPRESENTATIVE)

India’s top boxers will resume formal camp training from Monday following the end of their isolation period this weekend even as the Sports Authority of India (SAI) pardoned the pugilists who stirred up a storm by “unintentionally” breaking COVID-19 quarantine protocol.

The boxers and coaches, including world silver medallist and top Olympic medal contender Amit Panghal, have been in isolation at the National Institute of Sports’ (NIS) Patiala campus after testing negative for COVID-19 following a third round of testing.

“The formal training will resume from Monday. Everything is in order now. For the time being, there will be no sparring and no access to the ring as mentioned in the SAI SOP (standard operating procedure),” said a coach attached to the boxers.

READ| Boxing: World Olympic qualifiers to be held in May 2021

They were asked to leave the camp after a complaint was lodged against them by fellow athletes at the NIS.

The women boxers, barring top names like six-time world champion M. C. Mary Kom and the fast-rising Lovlina Borgohain, are also in Patiala for the joint camp, which is being organised only those who have already qualified for the Olympics and those with a strong chance of making the cut for Tokyo.

READ| Nikhat Zareen receives Rs 5 lakh for Olympics training

Meanwhile, the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) enquiry committee, headed by its secretary Rohit Bharadwaj, instituted to investigate the breach by Vikas and Satish, concluded that the indiscretion had not been intentional.

The two have been permitted to rejoin the camp. Both boxers are currently at Bellary’s Inspire Institute of Sports, founded by JSW Sports.

The SAI has also decided that a weekly review will be held with members of the COVID task force and hygiene officer of every centre, beginning with Patiala and Bengaluru immediately.