No sparring for now: SAI releases SOP for training but doesn't say when it will resume

PTI New Delhi, India May 21, 2020, 05.14 PM(IST)

Sports Authority of India Photograph:( Twitter )

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Sparring was declared prohibited for contact disciplines as the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Thursday unveiled the Standard Operating Procedure for training but did not say when exactly it will resume amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sparring was declared prohibited for contact disciplines as the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Thursday unveiled the Standard Operating Procedure for training but did not say when exactly it will resume amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 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 usage of gyms in shifts are among the measures to tackle the COVID-19 threat in SAI's SOP, released formally after approval from the sports and home ministry.

A six-member committee, headed by Bharadwaj, formulated the protocol.

The document makes Arogya 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.