New Delhi: In a disappointing development, India's best winter sports athlete Shiva Keshavan has decided to pull out of the Luge World Championships in Germany and Luge World Cup circuit citing "lack of funds".
"India will be conspicuous in its absence in the Luge World Championships and the Luge World Cup circuit for the first time in 20 years. This is because the Indian team has pulled out of the remainder of the international circuit because it has not been funded," a release on behalf of Keshavan read.
Earlier, a report in Sportstar claimed that the 34-year-old was forced to make a choice between sustaining his family and participating in the championship, with no support coming from the government.
The five-time Olympian was separated from his coach Duncan Kennedy, due to a lack of funds.
"With no favourable response despite the podium finish in his previous race, Shiva has been forced to cut his season short," the statement added.
The luger won a silver medal at the Asian Championships last year. He also has two gold medals in the Asia Cup and was the first Indian to qualify for the Winter Olympics.
Keshavan also said that he has written to Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their intervention.
The FIL World Luge Championships is scheduled to be held later this month at at Konigssee, Germany from January 30 to 31, 2016.