New Delhi: Seeking to put to end the ongoing row over India’s team for the 2012 Olympics, the All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) has reiterated that Leander Paes and Sania Mirza will be paired in the mixed doubles’ category in London.
Hours after he had announced that the association would send two men's doubles teams to the Olympics - Paes to partner Vishnu Vardhan and Mahesh Bhupathi teaming up with Rohan Bopanna – AITA president Anil Khanna told reporters that there would be no change in the Leander-Mirza partnership as India’s mixed doubles' pair.
"Sania and Leander will play the mixed doubles for India at the Olympics," Khanna said. "Things are settled. Leander will play with Sania. That is final."
AITA president Anil Khanna has reiterated India\'s mixed doubles\' combo for the London Olympics, though Paes has yet to respond.
Paes had written to AITA seeking assurance that he would be paired with Mirza, and his father Vece Paes had told CNN-IBN that Paes could reject the two-team formula that AITA had decided on. Khanna said that Pais had not yet decided.
"It would be unfortunate if Leander backed out. Obviously Leander will be disappointed, but AITA has endorsed the decision. Leander is disturbed, but we have tried to explain to him and to convince him. He had not decided. We will be able to convince him."
Addressing the issue of Bhupathi and Bopanna refusing to play with Paes in London, Khanna said: "It is unfortunate that both players did not agree to play with Leander. We are unhappy Rohan and Mahesh have not cooperated, but we decided not to punish them as the country's pride was involved. Whatever action has to be taken [against the two players] will be taken after the Olympics. Mahesh Bhupathi should be pleased that we did not take any action against him."