Narinder Batra, president of the Indian Olympic Association, has clearly stated that the health and safety of athletes remains the utmost priority and that no compromise will be made on that aspect. Batra’s comments come in the wake of Canada becoming the first team to pull out of the Olympics due to the Coronavirus pandemic, even though there is no certainty about the Tokyo Games. Also Read - IOA Assures Full Support as India Battle COVID-19 Pandemic, Stresses on Need of Self-Isolation
“I am personally in touch on regular and continuous basis with Union Ministry of Sports, Sports Authority of India, International Olympic Committee, National Sports Federations in India, with Athletes thru the NSF’s and all stake holders regarding the 2020 Olympics and preparations for Olympics,” IOA President Narinder Batra said in a statement. Also Read - IOA President Narinder Batra Says Postponed Olympic Qualifiers Will Happen, Asks NSFs to Share Athletes' Training Plans
“All Olympic sports International Federations had a video call with the IOC President on 17th March and all 206 NOC’s had a video call with the IOC President on 19th March to discuss on Covid-19 and the Olympics. All NOC’s have to get back to IOC this week on their preparations and the health of Athletes in their respective countries. Also Read - With Tokyo Olympics Postponed, Leander Paes Mulls Delaying Retirement
The world-wide outbreak of the COVID-19 has cast shadows over the Olympics, supposed to take place between July 24 and August 9 with numerous federations and athletes calling for postponement of the event, and Coe expects a decision on whether the Tokyo Games will go ahead will be taken shortly.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is facing the heat for its stance on wait and watch approach on the fate of Tokyo Olympics later this year amid the coronavirus crisis. Multiple national federations and several athletes have asked for the Games to be delayed as a precautionary measure taking cue from other major sporting events which have also been either cancelled or postponed.
“The Health & Safety of Athletes is prime concern of IOA and of the Union Sports Ministry and there will be no compromise in this regard. As of now, Hockey Men & Women, Athletics and Weightlifting Athletes are in their training camps while other probable athletes are mostly back home,” he added.