The training environment of athletes from 17 national sports associations (NSA) that are vying for slots in the Tokyo Olympics is already under review by the joint administrative order (JAO).
The JAO is manned by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Games and Amusements Board (GAB) and the Department of Health and is the body tasked to recommend to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Management of Infectious Diseases if a certain sport can resume training or not.
The JAO, according to PSC national training director Marc Velasco already has the documents from most of the NSA that discussed the mechanics with Olympics chief of mission Mariano “Nonong” Araneta.
The NSA that met with Araneta in an online discussion that spanned for almost a week include athletics, archery, 3×3 basketball, boxing, canoe kayak, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, judo, karate, rowing, skateboarding, table-tennis, taekwondo, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling.
When the lockdown took effect in March, only four Filipinos had made the Olympic grade in boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno, Italy-based pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena and world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo.
So far, while the IATF had already given the green light to the Philippine Basketball Association, Philippine Football League and even combat sports to get back, it only covers their training.
Holding actual games and events remain prohibited given the surge in cases of coronavirus.
Velasco said doctors from the JAO are set to review the safety guidelines the NSA forwarded to Araneta.
“Then we will make recommendations to the IATF,” Velasco said.
If the situation improves towards the end of the year, Velasco said other NSA would be asked to submit a similar document for the JAO to study.
“Next year, not only the Olympics is taking place, we also have the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games,” he said.
The Tokyo Games are set 23 July to 8 August while the SEA Games in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi will be held late-November.
Velasco said the plan is for all the athletes and coaches and other essential personnel to undergo swab testing before being given the go-signal to get back into training mode.
“Besides, we are talking about a small number of athletes since a lot of them are overseas training,” Velasco said.