The high-profile committee – comprising Prakash Padukone, PT Usha and Karnam Malleswari – that selected 184 athletes for the Sports Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), isn’t happy with the implementation of the scheme.
According to a report in the Indian Express, the committee has asked the Ministry for a status report on TOPS.
The committee, earlier this month, told Sports Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar via a letter that India could repeat the poor performance of the Rio Olympics – where a contingent of 117 returned with a silver and a bronze medal – at the Commonwealth and Asian Games next year.
According to the sources mentioned in the report, none of the athletes selected for TOPS have received necessary support for their training apart from the monthly stipend of Rs 50,000 that was announced by Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh continued on Rathore in September.
TOPS was launched in 2014 by the Sports Ministry to support selected athletes for the 2016 and the 2020 Olympics.
After a poor show at Rio, the Ministry formed a special committee in January that was mandated to select athletes for the scheme.
Abhinav Bindra recently quit from his post as Chairman of TOPS Athlete Identification Committee citing potential conflict of interest with his private projects.