NEW DELHI: The government has released Rs 3.14 crore as out of pocket allowance of 175 sportspersons under the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme in the last quarter of 2017, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said on Wednesday. The amount has been released from the National Sports Development Fund(NSDF) for the period from September to December last year, Rathore said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha. "The rate of Out of Pocket Allowance (OPA) from NSDF is Rs 50,000 per month and it is admissible with effect from September 2017 or from subsequent months of selection of the athlete whichever is later," he said.
The TOP Scheme aims to identify, groom and prepare potential medal prospects for Olympic and Paralympic Games. The selected athletes are provided financial assistance for their customised training at institutes having world class facilities and for other necessary support. Answering another question, Rathore informed that 110 and 67 sportspersons failed dope tests in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
The minister said in a bid to eradicate doping, the government has decided to establish regional centres to spread awareness and impart anti-doping education. "Government of India has decided to establish five regional centres to increase the anti-doping education and awareness at all levels of sports in the country. One has already been established," he said.