Indian tennis star Sania Mirza voluntarily withdrew from the Sports Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium scheme and was not dropped, as was projected by media reports, her father Imran Mirza clarified on Thursday.

Sania, a former world No 1 in doubles, has been out of action for a while with an injury and recently announced that she is pregnant, ruling her out of the upcoming Asian Games. Mirza was among eight Indian sportspersons who were excluded from the latest TOP list released by the Sports Authority of India on Wednesday.

However, her father clarified on Facebook: “Sania Mirza was ‘not dropped from TOP scheme,’ she opted out a long time ago when she was struck with a serious injury many months back. We did not wish to take any money from the Government since Sania was unfit to train. And now that she is pregnant, there is no question of a change in stance from ‘Team Sania’s’ end.”

As many as 41 sportspersons from seven disciplines have been identified to get the funding from the government till the Olympic Games in 2020. Out of them, 14 are from shooting, 10 from badminton, six from boxing, four from wrestling and two each from athletics, archery and weightlifting.

“Those not figuring in the list need not be disheartened,” SAI Director General Neelam Kapur had said. “The list would be reviewed periodically. The next assessment will happen after the Asian Games [from August 18 to September 2].”

She had added, “It is a dynamic list. We want to make it aspirational. There should be prestige attached to being included in the TOPs. It reflects the efforts of the athletes to aim high and we will be reviewing the performances on a regular basis.”