Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt on Monday said that the national wrestling camp should not be postponed despite four grapplers testing positive for COVID-19 at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Sonepat. The camp is scheduled to start on September 15.
Speaking to IANS, the wrestler-turned-politician suggested that the grapplers must accept the challenge and follow the COVID-19 protocols more carefully.
Yogeshwar Dutt on the national wrestling camp
"None of us have the answer to how many days this virus will remain. The national camp is important for the wrestlers. Already, so much time has been wasted because of this virus. I know some wrestlers tested positive, but I want to say that they are safer at the SAI centre than outside," the former wrestler said.
"Everybody must follow the guidelines and stay safe. Only a few months are left for the Tokyo Olympics to start and wrestlers need to work very hard for that. In my opinion, the camp must go on. Wrestlers need to take up the challenge and focus," he said.
A few wrestlers have demanded the postponement of the national camp after four wrestlers Deepak Punia (85kg), Rahul Aware (61kg), Navin (65kg) and Krishan (125kg) had tested positive. However, the Wrestlers Federation of India (WFI) didn't give any importance to such calls. Deepak has been discharged from the hospital and has left for his home in Jhajjar, Haryana.
Meanwhile, Narsingh Yadav, after serving a four-year ban for doping, on Sunday also joined the camp. The 74kg wrestler is undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine now. "He joined on Sunday morning. He has also given his test upon arrival, and reports might come soon," a source told IANS.