The national athletics body’s boss also cleared his stance on sending Indian athletes abroad for training.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) will not allow its athletes to participate in the Diamond League this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, as it could expose players to the risk of getting infected by the virus. 

Diamond League meetings have already been rescheduled to begin on August 14 in Monaco and will continue until mid-October. According to the new calendar, there will be no points system, no overall league winners this year and the final will not take place in Zurich.

AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said, “We are not interested in sending our athletes abroad before 2021 till we have a far better idea. So, no Diamond League for our athletes. The athletes who are now in national camps will also preferably be there for the next three months.”

Many athletes including star Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra had revealed their desire to participate in the Diamond League this year.

Speaking exclusively to Khel Now, Chopra had said, “Cancellation of the Olympics this year will affect us a little bit, but we will give our 100% next year. Once the situation with coronavirus gets over then I will try to play in the Diamond League as well. I will try to play in every possible competition before the Olympics.”

However, Sumariwalla insisted that they have other plans for Indian athletes in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. He remarked, “The plan is the athletes will compete in five events in Indian circuit starting on 12 September and they will have some sort of off-season after October.” 

“Next year, we plan to have training programmes in Europe if the situation allows and then they can reach peak form during the Tokyo Olympics.”

The Coronavirus pandemic has halted various sporting events around the world and also caused the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to next year.