A day after India's only Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra threatened to quit shooting since he was left out of the Commonwealth Championships squad, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) said the shooter has to blame himself for the turn of events.
NRAI general-secretary Baljeet Sethi said selection rules cannot be changed for Abhinav, who won the gold in the 10 metres air rifle event in Beijing.
"Abhinav has to blame himself for this debacle. The sports ministry is paying for preparations for the Commonwealth Games and it has made it mandatory for all shooters to attend the national camps and selection trials. Abhinav has not come for any selection trial of the camp since winning the gold in Beijing," Sethi said.
The NRAI had informed Bindra and other shooters through email Aug 24 about the selection norms for all international events, including the Commonwealth Games.
Sethi said that Abhinav (in a letter dated Sep 22, 2009) had confirmed to the NRAI his participation in selection trials for the Commonwealth Games and other international competitions.
"But he never turned up. Now he says that camps were cancelled. It is ridiculous. The government is paying for national camps and how can he say that it was cancelled," Sethi added.
Earlier this year, the sports ministry announced 36,000 euros to Abhinav but only if the shooter complied to NRAI's rules for selection trials.
In his home town of Mohali, Bindra read out a statement to the press but refused to take questions.
"In recent months, I have been training hard in Germany and participating in international events. My performances there could have been taken into consideration by the NRAI. I get upset and frustrated. After all, I am also a human being," Bindra added.