Court Issues Stay Order on AITA Ban

September 24, 2012

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 order means AITA’s decision not to select the pair for the next two years is suspended pending further appeal.

The players took the AITA to court after it banned the two players from selection because they both refused to partner any other players at the Olympics.

Having qualified together as a pair, Bhupathi and Bopanna did not want to be separated for the tournament.

Although the duo was eventually selected as the second team for the Games, neither partnership won any medals in London.

AITA secretary, Bharat Oza, said in a statement the organisation had “decided not to consider Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna for selection to play for India until June 30, 2014”.

Oza said 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 were dropped dropped for the recent Davis Cup tie with New Zealand.

Bhupathi criticised Anil Khanna, the AITA President, for the ban.

“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.

Bhupathi called on the AITA leadership to resign.

The decision to stay the ban is a step forward for the players. {jcomments on}