National competitions should resume from October if things go well: Narinder Batra

Last Updated : 03 June 2020, 15:46 IST

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Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra on Wednesday said the governing body hopes to see national championships and tournaments from October, provided the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic "does not go bad".

Batra also said easing of restrictions for contact sports like boxing and wrestling seems unlikely until a treatment for COVID-19 or a vaccine developed as there is a higher risk of transmission of the virus.

All sporting activities in the country were brought to a grinding halt on March 25 after the central government announced a nationwide lockdown to fight against coronavirus outbreak. The National Games to be held in Goa later this year were also postponed.

However, sportspersons heaved a sigh of relief when the government, on May 17, permitted the use of stadia and sports complexes without spectators and under strict guidelines, allowing the athletes to return to outdoor training.

Last week, the elite athletes preparing for the Tokyo Games started outdoor training.

"If I'm not wrong we should be seeing national championship, competitions coming up from October provided things don't go bad," Batra said in a webinar organised by FICCI.

"That's the internal strategy for now, depending upon the situation and way things pan out," he added.

However, the fate of the contact sports is still uncertain as the Sports Authority of India prohibited sparring for contact disciplines.

"Contact sports is still a concern. I'll be very honest I have no solution for it. In contact sports you sweat a lot, so whether sweat carries that thing or not because they are coming in contact with each other. I dont know how long this will carry," he said.

For contact sports, the SAI SOP only allows individual training without engaging in physical combat with other athletes.

"One thing is for sure, if a vaccination or some treatment is to come, then these things are not to be worried about, but right now we do have some concerns about contact sports like boxing, wrestling.

"When we have some kind of proven treatment comes for COVID-19 then only relaxations will come in," Batra said.

Published 03 June 2020, 15:46 IST

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