AITA chief threatens 'appropriate action' against Bhupathi

New Delhi: All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) chief Anil Khanna Saturday threatened to take appropriate action against Mahesh Bhupathi for making false allegations of wrongdoing and corruption against the country’s tennis body.

Reacting to the graft charges levelled against him by Bhupathi, Khanna said this had been done with an ulterior motive.

Bhupathi Tuesday slammed the AITA for hampering tennis’ growth in the country.  AFP

Bhupathi Tuesday slammed the AITA for hampering tennis’ growth in the country. He had also said Khanna was enjoying the public rift between him and Leander Paes.

“Leander and Mahesh are not children. They knew what was happening in the run-up to the (July-August) London Olympics. Mahesh needs to look through his heart. The allegations are totally false and motivated and are made with an ulterior motive. I will take appropriate action against Mahesh,” Times Now quoted Khanna as saying.

Khanna’s comments came on a day when the Karnataka High Court stayed the AITA’s two-year ban on Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna for refusing to partner Paes at the Olympics.

Staying the Sep 15 ban through an interim order, Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar served notice on AITA and the union sports ministry, directing them to file their reply to the petition filed by Bhupathi and Bopanna.

The duo moved the high court challenging the ban for defying the AITA’s directive on either of them playing with Paes at the Olympics.

The judge stayed the ban after we challenged it on the ground that no advance notice was given to Bhupathi or Bopanna nor they were heard before, Bhupathi’s counsel Aditya Sondhi told IANS in Bangalore.

Sondhi also accused the association of not giving Bhupathi and Bopanna an opportunity to clarify their position on not playing with Paes.

There was also no explanation from the association for omitting the duo from the Indian team in the recent (Sept 14-16) Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group 1 matches played against New Zealand in Chandigarh, Sondhi added.

The duo learnt about the ban only through the media, as the association did not directly communicate its order to them, he said.

“We also brought to the notice of the court that the arbitrary ban was not maintainable under the law,” Sondhi asserted.

The association also did not consider the duo’s request to play in the doubles at the London Olympics as they had been practicing together and had played quite a few tournaments in India and overseas.

Bhupathi’s father Krishna Bhupathi declined to comment on the stay as the matter was in the court and sub-judice.

IANS