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HindustanTimes Sat,27 Dec 2014

Tennis

Ban first, figure the basics later
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, September 17, 2012
First Published: 23:53 IST(17/9/2012)
Last Updated: 23:55 IST(17/9/2012)

In Indian tennis federations' world, the verdict is delivered before the trial.

Two days after announcing that they would not select Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna to represent India for two years, All India Tennis Association (AITA) executives are keen to hear the players' side of the story.

Bhupathi and Bopanna, who were already dropped from the team that beat New Zealand 5-0 in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group I over the weekend, were reprimanded on Saturday evening for their "indiscipline" ahead of the London Olympics.

On Monday, AITA vice-president and secretary general, Bharat Oza, sent Bhupathi an official mail, asking if the players wished to "express their point of view in regard to the above said decision".

"The (AITA ethics) committee met on 13th September at Chandigarh and considered the issue and recommended to the executive committee that Mr Rohan Bopanna and Mr Mahesh Bhupathi should not be considered to represent the country in view of the repercussions created all around due to their uncompromising behaviour," the mail read.

"On behalf of the executive committee I hereby convey to you the above decision and inform you that if you wish, you can put forth your side in relation to the above decision."

On Monday, Bhupathi said the AITA action was because of personal vendetta. "Yes, I believe so," he told the Press Trust of India. "It's been going on with me and association and heads of the federation for years now. I am just upset and afraid that my friend and partner Rohan has got caught in the middle of this dirty game. I have been quiet for a long time.

Exploring options
"We are exploring it (a legal option), we don't know yet but I don't think what they have done and the way they have done it, is fully legal. So we are exploring it what they have done is right and obviously if not legal, we are gonna go after it," he added.

While it seems unlikely that Bhupathi and Bopanna will take the matter to court, the veteran doubles player has called for a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday.

And if his comment earlier on Twitter is to be believed, the AITA can expect some fireworks.


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