Abhinav Bindra urges caution amidst coronavirus threat

Sports Authority of India too sends advisory guidelines to all national sports federations

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

Former Indian shooter and Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra has called for calm and discipline amidst the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak across the globe.

Stating that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, scheduled to begin in July, are still far, Abhinav Bindra has advised that the situation be thoroughly monitored.

“It is a situation which has to be monitored, a decision can’t be taken today... the Olympic Games are scheduled from July, with the opening ceremony being on the 24th, so there is still time,” he added.

The coronavirus upsurge has led to numerous sporting events getting cancelled throughout the world. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has expressed its full commitment to the success of the Olympic Games scheduled from July 24 to August 9.

The IOC has its own health advisory on the Coronavirus, which was issued on February 19, and Abhinav Bindra is optimistic that the world body and WHO would see the situation through successfully.

“It is being monitored by the IOC, the WHO and they are the best people who would come to a final decision whether it is safe to go ahead with or not. But, obviously, the situation remains fluid,” said Bindra.

SAI asks federations to be cautious

Having originated in China’s Wuhan in early February, the coronavirus has reportedly claimed 3,000 lives so far, with over 94,000 people getting infected.

Considering this, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has asked the National Sports Federations (NSFs) to take precautionary steps before planning foreign competitions and training camps. They have sent an advisory copy to all the NSFs on Wednesday.

“While the government understands the criticality of ranking tournaments and Olympic qualifiers, you would understand that the health of our athletes takes precedence. Therefore, we would like to request the NSFs to adhere to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines,” it has said.

How coronavirus has affected sporting events

The latest tournament to get postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak is the Badminton Asia Championships, which has been moved from Wuhan to Manila.

Other Olympic qualification badminton tournaments such as the German Open, the Polish Open and the Vietnam International Challenger have been either postponed or cancelled.

The threat hasn’t been limited to just badminton as Indian rowers too are living in uncertainty over travel to South Korea’s Chungju for their Olympic qualifiers.

India’s national shooting body, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), has also stated that they would pull their athletes out of the Tokyo Olympics Test event scheduled in April should it become a health risk.