New Delhi [India]: Amid the reports of postponement of Asian Games 2022 in China due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said that the security and health of players are priority of the government and added that if the organizer is not ready then it is not possible for participating teams to go.
“The organizing country has to decide the current situation of their country. The safety of our players is our priority and if organizer is not ready then it is not possible for participating teams to go. Our players are in their camps playing tournaments and are doing everything to win medals for the country,” said Thakur.
The Asian Games 2022, which were supposed to be held in China’s Hangzhou City, have been postponed. No reason was given for the delay, but according to reports from Chinese state media, it has happened due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak.
The 19th edition of the Asian Games was scheduled to be held in Hangzhou from September 10 to September 25. The host city Hangzhou is close to Shanghai which has been under several weeks of lockdown. The restrictions remain in force across large parts of the city with its 25 million residents being ordered to stay home.
When asked about doping awareness, the minister said, “Our aim is to make NADA work in accordance with the WADA rules. DG NADA is appointed to manage all the things. He spread awareness among the players during KIUG and guided them on what supplements needed to be taken and what kind of medicines need to be consumed. In this way, they can stay away from drug abuse. The second issue is testing so that India as a country should be an example for other countries. Adjudication is also important so that hearing takes place quickly and decisions are also taken fast.”
Notably, Star Indian discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur, who represented the country at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 last year, has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after she tested positive for a banned drug.
The Sports Minister was also awestruck watching the divyang cricketers showing their cricketing skills during the final match of the Sardar Patel National Divyang T20 Cricket Cup which was won by Chandigarh team.
“The thinking of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to promote sports be it Olympic Games or cricket and with the vision, he moved forward to use the word ‘Divyang ‘ for these players. They are not called Viklang anymore. The talent they have was identified by him much earlier and that’s why during the Paralympics he spoke to all the players and gave them all the facilities and we won 19 medals at the Paralympics. Differently-abled cricket is full of talent. The one who can’t walk are playing cricket on such a walk. The one who does not have one hand are batting so well. They had the talent but never had the opportunity.”
“These talents have got opportunities. When I was BCCI President then I tried to make all blind and differently-abled players playing under different associations to be combined together be it deaf and dumb or blind or differently able to join together and give them full support and opportunity to play and I am happy that after Covid such tournaments are organized and India won the WC in 2019. Our blind team always wins if they get the opportunity they always win and we will try to give them full support,” said Thakur. (ANI)