Mahesh Bhupathi hits out at AITA for banning him
Stung by the two-year ban imposed on him, veteran tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi today slammed the AITA, accusing the game's governing body of resorting to "divide-and-rule" policy and said its "dictatorial attitude" will be harmful for the future of Indian tennis
A hurt Bhupathi made a scathing attack on AITA and its president Anil Khanna who, he alleged, was playing "dirty politics" and creating rift among players, particularly between him and Leander Paes.
"Khanna has redefined the term divide and rule.
The AITA and its dictatorial attitude, and its administration are harmful for the future of Indian tennis," Bhupathi said at a press conference here today where he also circulated his correspondence with the AITA ahead of the London Olympics.
The veteran tennis pro said he had no choice but to accept the ban but was now exploring legal options.
"My being termed a dictator is unacceptable to me. I don't know if we can do anything, but there is no option not to accept the ban. We will definitely pursue a legal route. (My) lawyers are deciding the course of action, can't say much now," he said.
Bhupathi minced no words has he launched an attack against Khanna. "He has redefined the term divide and rule and at this year's Olympics he used Leander's shoulder to fire the gun against me multiple times.
Unfortunately the media terms this a Bhupathi-Paes rift and the true underbelly is left unquestioned."
"As far as I am concerned, I was always banned by the AITA, they never supported anything I did for the sport, only when they couldn't do without me and they needed the doubles point in Davis Cup, I got the email.
"They continue to misuse the power they have to try and teach me a lesson only because they feel I am able to do a lot more for the sports than they do and in the midst of all this, not only did we players suffer but so did the sport and in turn the country," he said.