New Delhi: Sparring has been declared prohibited for contact disciplines. This was announced by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) while unveiling Thursday the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for training. SAI however, did not say when exactly sparring will resume amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Sparring is necessary for disciplines like boxing, wrestling, judo and fencing to name a few.
The Union Home Ministry allowed the opening of sports complexes and stadia in its guidelines for the fourth phase of the lockdown, which has been extended till May 31. However, SAI sidestepped queries on when exactly training can resume.
“Resumption of training will depend on local administration’s approval,” said SAI secretary Rohit Bhardwaj in an online press conference to unveil the SOP.
Disinfection of training equipment after every use, a bar on sparring, and use of gyms in shifts are among the measures to tackle the COVID-19 threat in SAI’s SOP. It was released formally after approval from the Sports and Home Ministry.
A six-member committee, headed by Bharadwaj, formulated the protocol. The document makes Aarogya Setu app mandatory for all athletes and staff and calls for strict social distancing at training venues.
Increased sanitation measures and stringent supervision of athletes’ health are also among a slew of measures to prevent the deadly infection.