Abhinav Bindra out of next two shooting World Cups
India's only Olympic individual champion Abhinav Bindra was on Monday kicked out of shooting World Cup by the National Rifle Association of India. This was done because he didn't appear for the trials. Listen to podcastindia Updated: Jan 18, 2010 20:48 IST
India's only Olympic individual champion Abhinav Bindra was on Monday kicked out of shooting World Cup by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). This was done because he didn't appear for the trials.
NRAI and Bindra have been recently embroiled in a tug-of-war with sports officials over his participation in the Commonwealth Games later this year.
Bindra, who won the 10m Air Rifle shooting gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, is not assured of a place at the Games which India hosts in New Delhi from October 3-14.
The NRAI wanted Bindra to attend trials like other contenders if he wanted to be picked for international events.
Bindra, 27, prefers to train abroad on his own and wants the NRAI to judge his current form on his scores in competitions in which he takes part in various countries.
The NRAI dropped Bindra for next month's Commonwealth shooting championships in New Delhi, a test event for the Games, saying it was only following Sports Ministry guidelines which makes it mandatory to attend trials.
A "frustrated and distressed" Bindra had appealed to the association and the ministry to let him train abroad as per the schedule charted out by his coaching staff.
"I don't see the chance of future success if I am not going to be allowed to prepare in the way my professional team has planned," the shooter said in a statement over the weekend.
"These modules have worked very well for me in the past and have helped me be the current world and Olympic champion.
"It is quite unfortunate and extremely distressing to me that my point of view is not being appreciated and respected. It leaves me very frustrated and upset and does not really leave me with much motivation."
Bindra said he will go ahead with a planned training tour of Europe next week and speak to his coaching staff on his "future course of action".
NRAI secretary Baljit Sethi defended his federation, saying it was bound by sports ministry regulations.
"We have been told by the ministry to select teams after trials," Sethi said.
"The team we have picked for the Commonwealth championships has been approved by the government."
A sports ministry official confused the issue further by saying the government had no objection if Bindra was exempted from attending trials.
"It's for the national sports federations to lay down the selection criteria," ministry official Injeti Srinivas told the Press Trust of India (PTI).
"If the NRAI tells the ministry it wants to follow a separate approach for the top shooters and exempt Abhinav from trials, we would have no objection. But we have not received any such request till now.
"The ministry only insists on federations having a well-calibrated selection criteria implemented in a transparent manner so that it results in the best team representing the country."
(With AFP inputs)