Sports hostel protocol breached by DSD
By Anjana Kaluarachchi
Despite strict protocols set by the Department of Sports Development (DSD) under Sports Ministry that only athletes and coaches can occupy the sports hostel, they had permitted a Ministry employee to stay in the hostel and roam about freely.
The employee, who had been occupying an upper floor room at the hostel, has returned to the hostel in a long-distance bus where the driver of the bus has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has now been instructed to quarantine as he has been a first contact, a top Sports Ministry official confirmed. However, the irony is that the said employee is quarantined in the same room which he occupied in the hostel.
Elite and National Athletes are also staying in the same hostel, and when the Athletes learned about this, they had shown their displeasure towards the Ministry's double standards about protocols to be followed, as the hostel has now become a risky place with this incident.
The DSD has requested athletes and coaches to follow strict guidelines at the hostel, where they were allowed to stay and train despite recent lockdowns. Athletes weren’t allowed to go anywhere other than training venues and back to the hostel. They were also prohibited to use public transport at all costs. However,the said employee has not adhered to any of the guidelines.
Ceylon Today learns the Warden of the hostel had refused to let the said employee stay, but he had then got permission from higher authorities leaving the Warden helpless.
On numerous occasions Ceylon Today has highlighted about several Ministry and Department of Sports officials and employees staying at Torrington Athletes’ hostel, including former Director Generals and occupying the space set aside for National athletes. Also, there had been occasions where officials had redesigned upper floors of the hostel to turn it into an apartment for themselves.
It is strange that the Ministry had refused permission for several Elite and National Pool athletes to stay at the hostel, but now the abuse of power by top ministry officials to grant permission for one of their own to stay put the sports hostel at risk.
“The PCR report of the person will be known in a few days' time. They always put athletes at risk when they let outsiders stay at the athletes’ hostel. The hostel was built for athletes and for the development of sports, and not to fulfil the housing needs of Ministry employees,” said one of the concerned coaches subject to anonymity.