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Under-fire Gopichand calm in face of Prajakta controversy

National coach Pullela Gopichand on Thursday refused to comment on the controversy over Prajakta Sawant who had accused him of "mental harassment" in her petition to the Bombay High Court which has allowed the shuttler to attend the ongoing training camp at his badminton academy in Hyderabad.

"At the moment, I don't want to speak about it. Basically SAI (Sports Authority of India) and BAI (Badminton Association of India) are aware of it. They will take a call. I don't know," Gopichand said in Mumbai.

"I think BAI and SAI are fully aware of the matter and I have communicated to them. Whatever needs to be done at the right time, we will do it," said the former All England champion, who was in the city as brand ambassador for the unveiling of "Mumbai Games', a multi-sport competition featuring 8 teams from the city.

Gopichand and Prajakta
Gopichand has refused to comment on the allegations levelled against him by shuttler Prajakta Sawant (inset). 

Yesterday, in a relief to Prajakta, the Bombay High Court allowed the player to attend the training camp at Gopi's academy, on from October 4 through December 12, after she was told by the coach not to join the camp when she asked him to change her doubles and mixed doubles partners.

Stating that Gopichand was trying to ruin her career, Prajakta urged the court to direct the SAI to order an inquiry against Gopichand.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice N M Jamdar, after perusing the petition and considering the credentials of Sawant - ranked 48 in women's doubles in the world with Pradnya Gadre, permitted her to attend the camp.

The bench, however, clarified that her selection for the upcoming China Open Super Series, Hong Kong Open Series and the Macau Grand Prix Gold may be done objectively and based on her merit. 

Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal, meanwhile, has stood by Gopichand, her coach, stating that she is totally "unaware" about "how these things are coming out."

"Look at me. I am standing here today as World No 3. I would like to thank Gopi Sir for where I am today. I don't know from where all these things are coming out and I really don't know what it is," Saina, who was initially reluctant to answer the question provided her response on the issue.

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