New Delhi: Young Indian squash player Ravi Dixit on Tuesday clarified that he doesn't intend to sell one of his kidneys to pursue his career and "his spur of the moment" remark was blown out of proportion.
Dixit said he was sorry about his "selling the kidney" comment and did not realise that a post on Facebook would attract so much attention.
"I did not realise there is so much to be read into this until I received a call from a reporter," said the 23-year-old, who is a former Asian junior champion and is part of the Indian team for next month's South Asian Games.
Earlier, a Times of India report had said that Dixit was ready to "auction" his kidney, as mentioned on his social media account, to fund his preparation and campaign for February's South Asian games. The report had also quoted Dixit's parents, a Dhampur Sugar Mills (where Dixit's father is employed and which provides financial support to the athlete) employee, and UP ministers imploring Dixit to not take the extreme step.
Dixit, in a hand written letter to president of the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRF), said he would continue playing the game.
"Squash is my life and I wish to continue playing it. I am keen to pursue the game as my career and would continuously look for sponsors. I never intended to sell my kidney and it was a spur of the moment statement for which I am sorry. I apologise to my family and the people who have supported me," Dixit added.
India's top male Saurav Ghosal too was shocked at Dixit's comments.
"I have interacted with him many times and to be honest, I never thought the situation was so extreme (that he would think of selling his kidney). I have not spoken to him, I have only read his comments in the media. It is unfortunate if he thought to do something like that. I am sure there are better ways to fund your career," Ghosal told PTI.
SRFI chief Debendranath Sarangi, in a statement, said Dixit has been with the Indian Squash Academy (ISA) in Chennai for nine years and has been staying and training there.
"The ISA and SRFI provide him financial assistance for participation in the national/international tournaments, in addition to the funding from sports ministry and Dhampur Sugar Mills. He has also gone abroad for training," Sarangi said.