Star shooter Abhinav Bindra has decided to quit the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Committee, which selects Olympic medal prospect Indian athletes for availing government funds for top class training in the run up to next year's Rio Games.
In a letter to TOP Committee chairman Anurag Thakur, Bindra said that he has decided to resign from the panel as he will not be able to spare time for a "meaningful contribution" to the scheme in view of his preparations for Rio Olympics.
"As you are aware that the Olympic Games are about 10 months away. I am completely engrossed in my training and preparations. I agreed to be a part of the TOP Scheme as I wanted to make a meaningful contribution to the scheme specially from the view of the athletes," Bindra, the lone Indian Olympic individual gold medallist, said in the letter.
"All my life I have always stood for pursuing excellence and being completely committed towards my tasks and goals. Since I will have no time to spare during the next year to actively contribute towards the scheme, I don't feel it appropriate to continue as a member on the committee," Bindra, who won the gold medal in men's 10m air rifle shooting event in 2008 Beijing Olympics, said.
"I believe the committee will be better served by someone who can make a meaningful contribution. This letter may be treated as my resignation as a member of the TOP Scheme," he added.
The TOP Committee was formed last year by the Sports Ministry under the chairmanship of BJP Member of Parliament and current BCCI Secretary, Anurag Thakur to select athletes who can do well in the Rio Olympics for government funding in their training and foreign exposure.
Other members of the committee include former Indian cricket team captain Rahul Dravid and national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand.
"It has been a pleasure to have had the opportunity to work with you and it was a joy to see your passion towards the development of sport and athletes' welfare in the country. I wish you and the TOP scheme the very best of luck towards a successful 2016," Bindra wrote in the letter to Thakur.
The Ministry has already identified more than 75 sportspersons for funding under the ambitious project but the implementation of the scheme has been delayed due to various reasons.