After Abhinav Bindra, Anurag Thakur quits TOPS

Sports Authority of India (SAI) director general Injeti Srinivas has been made in charge of the scheme.

After Abhinav Bindra, Anurag Thakur quits TOPS

New Delhi: Days after ace shooter Abhinav Bindra resigned from the Sports Ministry's Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme, its chairman Anurag Thakur too has quit from his position.

A report in The Indian Express said that Sports Authority of India (SAI) director general Injeti Srinivas has been made in charge of the scheme.

According to the report, a senior ministry official said Thakur tendered his resignation last week, though there are suggestions he was indirectly asked to leave by the ministry after it was decided to hand over the TOPS charge to SAI.

“It won’t be overstating that we are in a state of crisis when it comes to the TOPS. The ministry has not been able to live up to the expectations, and the delays just months before the Olympics defeated the purpose of the scheme,” an official said.

Following these resignations, sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal has called for a review meeting on Friday to discuss the way forward. Ministry officials, however, termed the meeting as ‘routine’.

Earlier, Bindra in a letter to the chairman of TOP scheme Anurag Thakur, said that he will "have no time to spare during the next year to actively contribute towards the Scheme."

He was part of the athletes identification committee of the TOP Scheme, which was assigned to select right candidates in Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Shooting, Wrestling and Yachting. Other members of the TOP Scheme Elite Athletes Identification Committee are Rahul Dravid, Pullela Gopichand and MC Mary Kom, besides chairman Thakur.

TOP scheme was initiated by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) in April this year to identify athletes who are potential medal winners in Olympics and providing appropriate support to them.

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