Two days after Hindustan Times broke the story that shooter Abhinav Bindra was “frustrated enough” because of serious issues with the National Rifle Association of India — the sport’s apex body in the country — to think of quitting the game, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief, Suresh Kalmadi, stepped in with the olive branch.
Speaking to HT, Kalmadi said: “The NRAI has agreed not to press for trials. He (Bindra) can participate in the (fourth) World Cup at Belgrade.”
The World Cup will be held from June 26 to July 4.
The NRAI comes under the umbrella of the IOA.
HT had reported how the NRAI wanted Bindra, the country’s first Olympic individual gold medallist, to turn up for regular trials in India regardless of his international results. This, Bindra had said, was disrupting his training for major competitive events abroad.
The NRAI and the Sports Ministry tried to pass the buck but this paper revealed that letters Bindra exchanged with the NRAI as well as the ministry proved neither was above blame.
So will Bindra continue to have to attend trials?
Kalmadi said, “For now, he has been exempted from trials and allowed to participate in Belgrade.”
NRAI secretary-general Baljeet Singh Sethi said the selection of the team for the quadrennial World Champion-ships in Munich in July will be done on the basis of two domestic trials in May-June. “Performance in the World Cup will also be taken into consideration. Bindra will have to appear in the trials,” Sethi said.