India's top women's doubles Badminton players Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa have been finally included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) after a long wait.
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Jwala Gutta and Aswhini Ponappa at World Badminton Championships (Photo: File)[/caption]
The sports ministry informed on Tuesday that the duo, along with the men's doubles pair of Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Atri, has been included for the TOPS funding from National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) to prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The amount will be spent by the shuttlers on their training, competition and equipment in the run up to the Summer Games.
"In a communication sent to these players, the ministry has asked them to start making their training plan in consultation with the chief coach of doubles and list out their requirements," a statement said on Tuesday.
The decision will put an end to the unwarranted controversy that was going on for a couple of months. Shocked by their exclusion, both Gutta and Ponnappa had launched a tirade against the ministry and chief national coach Pullela Gopichand in recent times. The pair had accused Gopichand of bias and serious "conflict of interest" while selecting five of the six singles players in the TOPS from his Hyderabad-based private badminton academy.
Here is what Jwala has written after she and Ponnappa were left out TOPS earlier:
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