Drug-stained Neeraj fell from TOPS; Deepika, Chinki included

New Delhi, December 5 () Boxer Neeraj Phogat, contaminated with drugs, was removed Thursday from the Target Olympic Podium Program (TOPS) of the Ministry of Sports, while goalkeeper Deepika Kumari was included after playing a crucial role in India to secure a place in the share of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Shooter Chinki Yadav, who secured an Olympic quota in the 25m pistol event earlier this year, was added to the TOPS list along with veteran Tejaswini Sawant, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar and Mairaj Ahmed Khan.

Three archers have been included in the scheme, including former world number one Deepika Kumari and Ankita Bhakat, who combined to secure an individual Olympic quota for India in the women's recurring event. Veteran L Bombayla Devi is the other archer who made the cut.

The men's and women's teams have also been included after qualifying for the Tokyo Games.

Boxer Neeraj Phogat has also been excluded from the TOPS scheme due to her provisional suspension by NADA, the Indian Sports Authority said in a statement.

Phogat tested positive for the drug Ligandrol that improves performance, which helps muscle building.

The committee also made the decision to exclude shooters Ravi Kumar and Om Prakash Mitharwal from the Target Olympic Podium scheme due to its immersion performance graph, the statement said.

In addition to the previous players, who were included in the central group, the committee also included the javelin throwers of the Indian men Shivpal Singh and Rohit Yadav in the development group.

The criteria for the selection of athletes were the comments of national sports federations, national observers, high performance managers, project officers and coaches.

In addition to the inclusion of athletes, financial proposals of more than Rs 40 lakh were approved for shooting athletes, table tennis, wrestling and para-athletics.

The Badminton Association of India also presented its long-term plan for the 2020, 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games.

The points discussed, in the presence of national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, included creating a larger group of coaches for emerging players with a greater focus on Indian coaches.

New participants in TOPS:

Shooting: Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Mairaj Ahmed Khan, Tejaswini Sawant, Chinki Yadav

Archery: Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat, Bombayla Devi.

Hockey: male and female teams.

Para-archery: Vivek Chikara, Harvinder Singh, Rakesh Kumar and Shyam Sundar

Para-athletics: Nishad Kumar, Ajeet Singh, Yogesh Kathuniya, T Mariyappan Para-Badminton: Nagar Krishna. PM PDS PDS

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