Clearly perturbed by the two-year ban given to him and his doubles partner Rohan Bopanna from representing the country, Indian tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi on Tuesday lashed out at the All India Tennis Association (AITA).
Bhupathi, in a media interaction, termed the tennis body as "detrimental for the Indian tennis". "It has been a roadblock in developing Indian tennis," Bhupathi said. "Over 80% members of the exec committee have sat there for close to 20 years, they are yet to produce one."
Before holding the media conference, Bhupathi had also put his point across through a press release.
Lashing out at AITA, Bhupathi said the tennis body \"has been a roadblock in developing Indian tennis.\"
He also slammed the tennis association, and especially its chief Anil Khanna, by saying that his dirty politics were the reason behind the feud between him and Leander Paes. "Anil Khanna played divide & rule between Paes and me," he said.
However, Bhupathi also said that he had no choice but to accept the ban, adding that he is in talks with his lawyers over a possible legal action against the AITA. "It seems that I have no choice left but to accept this ban and since all of you today are willing to hear what I have to say."
Bhupathi also felt sorry for Bopanna, who according to Bhupathi, has been unnecessarily dragged into the whole controversy. "I feel really bad for my friend and partner Rohan who has been caught in the cross fire of dirty politics."
AITA had banned Bhupathi and Bopanna from representing the country till June 30, 2014 on disciplinary grounds.
AITA had taken the decision hours after India's young Davis Cup team took an unassailable 3-0 lead against New Zealand in Chandigarh on Saturday.
The tennis body had chosen Bhupathi to play with Leander Paes at the London Olympics but both he and Bopanna refused the pairing and instead forced the AITA to pair them for the Games.
AITA had to accede to their demand at that time but has now taken the action, saying it will not tolerate indiscipline.
Both Paes and Somdev Devvarman had made themselves unavailable for the tie but AITA said their act did not amount to indiscipline as they had requested to be excused from the tie.