'There is bound to be a strong and concrete reason behind his exclusion despite qualifying for the final of the World Championships'
Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas on Tuesday, clarified that merit is the sole criterion for including individual athletes in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) and there were strong reasons behind javelin thrower Davinder Singh Kang's exclusion from the list.
Davinder, who became the first Indian javelin thrower to make the final of the World Championships in London last month, expressed his disappointment over his exclusion from the TOPS list and had even considered moving to Italy.
But Injeti, who is also the Director General of Sports Authority of India (SAI), refused to pay attention to Davinder's agitations.
"The decision of individual athlete's inclusion in TOPS is decided purely on merit," he told PTI on the sidelines of 'National Workshop on Sports for All' in New Delhi.
"There is bound to be a strong and concrete reason behind his exclusion despite qualifying for the final of the World Championships," Injeti said without divulging anything further.
He, however, said that the Sports Ministry is open to reconsider his case.
"It was a joint decision by the national federation (Athletics Federation of India) and the ministry. But we are open and might include him in future," Injeti said.
Davinder, who bagged a bronze medal at the Asian Athletics Championship, is set to meet Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in the first week of October to push for his inclusion in the list.
However, when asked about it, the Minister said he was unaware of any such appointment till now.
IMAGE: Davinder Singh Kang of India competes during the World Championships in London last month
Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters