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Tokyo Games: Mahesh Bhupathi Slams AITA In Olympic Qualification Row





Former India tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi on Tuesday weighed in on the row over Olympic qualification involving Rohan Bopanna, Sania Mirza and the All India Tennis Association (AITA). The tennis body on Monday condemned tweets by stars Bopanna and Sania over qualification of players for Tokyo Olympics after Bopanna had accused AITA of misleading people over qualification hopes of him and Sumit Nagal for the Games. Bhupathi chimed in on Tuesday to say that AITA “just don’t care”.

“Bottom line is @rohanbopanna and @MirzaSania don’t play. If it were me I would be moving mountains to find a way for him to go considering they were so close last time . Also I don’t think it’s incompetence . They just don’t care.. and if you don’t care you don’t know,” Bhupathi tweeted.

“50years and this is still going on. I really really hope for the betterment of Indian tennis there is a change. Our future tennis players deserve better administration,” Bopanna added, quoting Bhupathi’s tweet.

“ITF has never accepted an entry for Sumit Nagal & myself. ITF was clear that no changes were allowed after the nomination deadline (22nd June) unless Injury/Illness. AITA has mislead the players, government, media and everyone else by stating we still have a chance (sic),” Bopanna had tweeted originally.

“Whaaattt???If this is true then it’s absolutely ridiculous and shameful..by this it also means that we have sacrificed a very good shot at a medal in the mixed doubles if you and I would have played as planned. We were both told that you and sumit’s names have been given,” Sania Mirza had written in response.

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“Twitter comments by Rohan Bopanna and then Sania Mirza are inappropriate, misleading and it appears, without knowledge of the rules. They should have checked the rule book of ITF regarding qualifications, something that Divij Sharan seems to have done while writing to TOPS,” AITA said in its statement.

“Rohan Bopanna could not have qualified as per ITF Rules. Therefore Sania Mirza’s tweet is also baseless and coming from a player of her stature, is condemnable,” the statement added.

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