Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme: 39 athletes added to the list
The abbreviation TOP (Target Olympic Podium) Scheme formulated by Union Government under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was in news on 28 May 2015.
It was in news because Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports added names of five women for TOP Scheme who were suspended for anti-doping rule violations between mid-2011 and mid-2013.
These five women were named among the 39 athletes who were added to the list.
All these women, namely Priyanka Panwar, Ashwini Akkunji, Jauna Murmu, Sini Jose and Mandeep Kaur are 400m runners.
The TOP Scheme was formulated with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. The focused disciplines of the scheme were Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Wrestling and Shooting.
For this purpose, a committee named Top Scheme Elite Athletes Identification Committee was constituted for laying down elaborate norms for selection of the right candidates, review of performance and operation of the scheme.
The chairman of the committee is Anurag Thakur, a member of Lok Sabha from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh and other members were Rahul Dravid, Pullela Gopichand, Abhinav Bindra and MC Mary Kom.
Under the TOP scheme the selected athletes will be provided financial assistance for their customized training at Institutes having world class facilities and other necessary support.