In a bid to ensure that medal prospects for the 2020 Olympics get sustained help for the next four years, the Sports Ministry has directed the National Sports Federations (NSFs) to identify potential medallists by the end of this month.
"Department of Sports has advised NSFs to identify medal prospects and their support staff for the 2020 Olympic Games by 30th November 2016. This is to ensure that the core probables get support of dedicated world class support staff on a continuing basis to be able to work as a coherent team and deliver," the Ministry said in a statement.
The Ministry said the move, approved by the Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel, is intended to give a head-start to the country's preparations for the Olympics.
The Department has further advised NSFs to prepare a training and exposures program of the medal prospects for the year 2017.
"The NSFs should approach the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) for any financial assistance required under the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme," the Ministry stated.
There will be a six monthly review of the performance of the athletes and support staff for inclusion/exclusion in the list of core probable and their support staff.
"The department has advised the NSFs to carry out the exercise of selection and review with total transparency and put up details of the same on their website as a part of suomoto disclosure.
"In respect of the sports discipline(s) in which NSFs are suspended/not recognised by MYAS, this exercise is to be undertaken by Sports Authority of India (SAI) namely Archery, Gymnastics, Judo, Tennis," the Ministry said.
Image: India's Sakshi Malik celebrates on the podium after receiving her bronze medal at the Rio Olympics