When Will Sport in Croatia Return to Normal? Capak Weighs In

When Will Sport in Croatia Return to Normal? Capak Weighs In

May 30, 2020 - The director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (CNIPH), Krunoslav Capak, attended a session of the Health Commission of the Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) and spoke about returning sport to normal in Croatia. 

"You know yourself that in mid-May, with the easing of measures, we allowed training for top athletes. The football Cup will be played this weekend, and we also have pressure to let the fans into the stadiums. For now, however, this will not happen," said Capak on HRT, who also commented on the possibility of holding sports competitions indoors:

"Bowling and bowling competitions will start on June 12, and after that, we will consider the possibility of spectators in the stands."

The secretary of the COC Health Commission, the famous nutritionist Mimi Vurdelja, emphasized the agility of the members of the Commission in the beginnings of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We from the COC were the first to start making and sending recommendations to federations and clubs for the protection of athletes' health. I have to inform you that immediately after the appearance of the coronavirus, we received a number from Dr. Capak that athletes can call. We are very grateful to him for that."

Because the virus no longer circulates among us and that Croatia has one of the best epidemiological situations in the world, Dr. Capak spoke with a lot of optimism about the current epidemiological situation in the country, although he never lacks caution.

"We must still be careful because the virus is still there, and it can easily come to us from the outside. Due to tourist motives, we are currently the most open country in Europe, and the situation in our environment is not great - Germany, France, Spain, and hotspots in South America; all this suggests caution."

In addition to making continuous recommendations for preserving the health of athletes, the COC Health Commission intends, in cooperation with partners from the CNIPH, to initiate serology testing of Croatian Olympians and the development of an immunological health card of Olympic athletes. These are 64 individual top athletes and three men's national teams. Dr. Capak promised support in the implementation of the mentioned activities, which, according to the information of the secretary of the Commission, will bring savings of around 200,000 kuna.

The head of the CNIPH anti-doping service, Dr. Roman Latinović, reported that anti-doping testing of athletes in individual sports was launched on May 26, and that football competitions will also begin in team competition. He also reminded of the fact that his service is in the process of implementing the new anti-doping code of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The proposal of the Secretary-General of the Croatian Automobile and Karting Association, Zrinko Gregurek, was also considered. At a recent session of the COC Council, he introduced the COC's leading body to the foreign practice of installing the so-called tunnels for the disinfection of spectators of sporting events. Praising all the measures to protect people at sports competitions, doc. Dr. Dinko Pivalica said that, regardless of the external decontamination of those who enter, this method cannot eliminate asymptomatic phenomena.

Therefore, the COC Health Commission unanimously supported the conclusion of its president, Dr. Miran Martinac, who said:

"We consider this type of prevention desirable for all closed spaces, but experts should give the final word on this, i.e., epidemiologists, from whom we asked for an expert opinion."

At the end of the session, a proposal was agreed to hold a roundtable meeting on June 17, which should be attended by the Minister of Health in the Government of the Republic of Croatia Vili Beroš, CNIPH Director Krunoslav Capak, State Secretary of the Central State Office for Sports Tomislav Družak and COC President Zlatko Mateša in the role of host, but also a representative of WADA.

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