The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports has released the second stage of its “back to training” guide for elite athletes – the Covid-19 guidelines that all sports must follow s ” they wish to return to competition behind closed doors, if circumstances allow. , after June 1.
Troy Deeney of Watford and N’Golo Kanté of Chelsea are two top footballers who have already chosen not to train, even in the contactless phase. The two did so with the support of their club coaches – but organizations such as the international football players’ union Fifpro have expressed concern that the athletes may be forced to train against their will.
The new direction addresses these concerns, stating: “All athletes and staff must be clear on their route to” withdraw “from the stage two training environment at all times, without any resulting discrimination, not associated with the potential natural competitive impact resulting from any loss of training time. “
The seven-page document contains eight broad directions. Items 2 to 4 relate to the need for a risk assessment on a training ground, the development of a strategy to minimize these risks, and the process of communicating that strategy to athletes and staff. Points 5 to 8 deal with the response to a possible infection; monitoring test levels “to mitigate the increased risk of forming close contacts”, enforcing quarantine rules, and notifying contact tracing services in the event of a positive test.
The final section of the document provides advice on insurance liability, another area of concern among athletes and medical personnel. The guidance reads: “Hosts / operators of sites used for the second stage of return to training should take active measures to ensure that training, coaching and close contact support within their establishment do not invalidate their relevant insurance. “
The guidelines were developed by a task force that included the DCMS, public health officials and medical personnel from all elite sports. Premier League medical adviser Dr Mark Gillett was part of the group and the league is now expected to submit its own second-stage directives to the clubs for potential approval at a shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday.