Goel satisfied with athletes' preparations

Goel satisfied with athletes' preparations

Goel satisfied with athletes' preparations

The newly-appointed Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Vijay Goel said that he was satisfied with India’s preparations for next month’s Olympics.

Goel was in the city to inspect the various camps being held for the Rio-bound athletes at the Sports Authority of India  South Centre (SAI).

“I had an opportunity to speak to the athletes here and have a look at their preparations for the Rio Games. And I should say that I am very happy with the hard work the athletes are putting in,” said the minister.

“We are into the final phase of the preparations and I see that things are going on well. The Government and the SAI have supported our athletes in the best possible way.

“We have been able to provide all the possible help that the athletes have demanded over the course of their preparations. Experienced coaches, foreign coaches, latest technical support and so on,” he added. While the Indian archery team has already reached Rio and the hockey team is expected to leave on July 24, the minister said that the travel dates were left up to the athletes to decide.

“If you see, there are a few disciplines where the athletes would like to acclimatise themselves with the environment well in advance. With that in mind, we decided that it would be better if the athletes decide on the date they would wish to be in Rio ahead of their competitions.”

Accompanying the minister on his maiden visit to the South Center, the SAI Director General Injeti Srinivas made it clear that no member of the men’s hockey squad was issued notice by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) for failing to file ‘whereabouts’ as some reports suggested.

Srinivas said that two individual athletes were issued notices for not updating their ‘whereabouts’ status to the NADA.

“There was a case of two athletes who had not updated their whereabouts status with NADA. They later explained the reasons for their difficulties to update their whereabouts on NADA website. NADA was satisfied and therefore this matter is behind us,” said Srinivas. “No hockey player was involved. They are individual athletes,” he added.

Athletes included in the reserve testing pool need to provide their ‘whereabouts’ on a quarterly basis and a 60-minute time slot between 6.00 am and 11.00 pm each day to be available for testing at a specific location for out-of-competition testing.
Three such ‘whereabouts’ failures is treated as a doping violation.