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India to train athletes for bio-bubble and quarantine rules before Olympics
2 min read.Updated: 14 Dec 2020, 10:51 AM ISTGyan Varma
The athletes could spend at least 2-3 weeks in a bio-bubble before the games, and only support staff, athletes, and medical team would have access to players after they are tested negative for covid-19
The sports ministry and different sports associations are working on a plan to train the Indian Olympics contingent about bio-bubble and quarantine rules during the games in Tokyo, which are set to start in a few months.
The Union government, in association with sports authorities, has decided to set up at least four bio-bubbles both in the country and outside for the athletes. The Indian Olympics contingent is expected to comprise 60-100 athletes, and the training camps of different sports associations have already started preparations.
Senior representatives of the sports ministry and sports associations have informed a parliamentary committee that athletes will have to be trained because the concepts of both quarantine and bio-bubble are new to athletes who are to represent the country in the Olympics.
“This is the first time the Indian athletes would witness bio-bubble and quarantine rules during the games. So the ministry along with sports associations have decided to start training the athletes for both the things. It has been decided that to have at least four bio-bubble facilities in the country and outside so that athletes get to witness it and get used to it," said a person in the know of the development.
The standing committee on education, women, children, youth and sports is planning to prepare a detailed report and submit it to the Parliament with its suggestions on the preparedness of athletes and the issues before the sports associations that impact the preparedness of athletes for the Olympics.
“Living in a bio-bubble can be a difficult experience for players as they are neither used to it nor have they experienced it before. All of it is new to them. Some members of the standing committee have suggested that parliamentarians should suggest if the sports authorities need more medical experts and psychological experts to prepare athletes for it. The sports associations are working with the sports ministry already," said a second person in the know of development.
According to the rules of the Union government, bio-bubbles are safe zones created for athletes and sportspersons to isolate them from outside environment to reduce the risk of covid-19 to players. The athletes could spend at least 2-3 weeks in a bio-bubble before the games, and only support staff, athletes, and medical team would have access to players after they are tested negative for covid-19.
“So far athletes are being trained to stay in the bio-bubble for 10-15 days only but this could increase as the time for the start of the event comes closer and athletes become more aware of it," said the second person quoted above.
Apart from looking at the preparations for Olympics, the parliamentary committee is also likely to give recommendations on the functioning of sports authorities in the country. Members of the standing committee believe that sports associations should take the onus of performance of athletes and management of different sports federations.
“The basic question before the standing committee is about the onus of performance of athletes and who should be responsible. Some members believe that that sports federations lack the commitment and these associations are seen more as a seat of power. A sub-committee has been formed by the parliamentary committee that would submit its report before the committee which would then be taken up for discussion," said a person in the know of the development.