Court stays AITA ban on Bhupathi and Bopanna
Sunday, 23 September 2012
September 23 - A court in Karnataka has issued a stay order on the Indian Tennis Association (AITA) decision not to consider selecting doubles specialists Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna to play for India until 2014.
The stay order means that AITA's decision not to select the pair (pictured above) is suspended pending further appeal.
AITA made the decision after the duo refused to partner Leander Paes at London 2012.
Bhupathi's London 2012 place was eventually taken by youngster Vishnu Vadhan.
Have qualified together as a pair, Bhupathi and Bopanna did not want to be separated for the tournament.
Although the couple were eventually selected as the second team for the Games, neither partnership won any medals in London.
AITA secretary Bharat Oza said in a statement that the organisation had "decided not to consider Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna for selection to play for India until June 30, 2014".
Oza added that they would bring in a new code of conduct to avoid a repeat of the situation arising in the future.
"We're going to lay down a new code of conduct in the next two to three months.
"Mahesh and Rohan refused to partner any other player in the Olympics.
"That clearly amounts to indiscipline and calls for action."
The duo had already been dropped for the recent Davis Cup tie with New Zealand in Chandigarh.
India instead selected Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan and Divij Sharan, who secured a dominant 5-0 win.
India resume their Asia/Oceania Zone Group I campaign in February.
Bhupathi was the first Indian to win a grand slam and has claimed another 11 major tournament titles since.
The two French Open titles and Wimbledon victory Bhupathi enjoyed in 1999 and 2001 were won alongside Paes.
They have also competed at four previous Olympic Games together.
The 38-year-old Bhupathi has also hit out at Anil Khanna, the AITA President, for the ban, which both he and Bopanna originally heard about via the media.
"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," he said.
"I don't know if we can do anything, but there is no option not to accept the ban."
Bhupathi has also said he has probably played his last game for India, and called on the AITA leadership to resign.
The decision by the court in Karnataka to stay the ban is a positive sign for the duo, who took the AITA decision to court.
The onus is now on the AITA to come up with any objections they have to the legal action taken by the players.