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No handshakes, no hugs, no training in groups: AFI allows outdoor training with strict guidelines


19 May 2020

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No handshakes, no hugs, no training in groups: AFI allows outdoor training with strict guidelines

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has given green light to outdoor and gym training for athletes who are at the National Institute of Sport (NIS) in Patiala and Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru.

In a nine-page document, the AFI listed out its Standard Operating Procedure for resumption of training at the two centers. The Indian men's and women's hockey team probables have been in Bengaluru while track and field athletes, including star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, are at NIS Patiala.

Among the strict guidelines are bans on spitting, handshakes or hugs, walking or training in groups. Handheld equipment such as javelins, discuses, batons etc. are to be sanitized prior to and after usage and coaches are responsible to maintain social distancing at all times during training.

"Visit to barber shops/saloons/beauty parlors/shopping malls is STRICTLY prohibited," said the AFI in their guidelines. "Do not leave your hostel rooms except for training/medical/rehab purpose. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser if visiting ATM's and use sanitizer after operating ATM machine."

Saunas and ice baths will not be used and athletes are to "rush back" to their hostel rooms once done with training.

The Ministry of Home Affairs while listing its guidelines for the extension of lockdown stated that sports complexes and stadiums will be opened for athletes.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju  on Monday reiterated that sports activities will be conducted in sports complexes and stadia as per Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and respective state guidelines while gyms and swimming pools will remain closed.