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AITA's stance against tennis duo shows no player is bigger than sport
The AITA has banned Rohan Bopanna and Mahesh Bhupathi for two years, during which they cannot play for India. Bhupathi may even take this to the court, as he is unhappy with the ban. Was this a fair decision on the part of AITA?

THOUGH EVERYONE thought that the fight between AITA, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna had come to an end after the Indian team returned home from the London Olympics, but it was not to be.

It was a lull before the storm. AITA on last weekend came out in the open and slapped a 2-year ban on Bhupathi and Bopanna for their disagreement to partner with Leander Paes for the London Olympics. This reflects that the AITA is not going to tolerate indiscipline of this magnitude, irrespective of the player's stature.

Until 2014, these two players will not be allowed to play for India. Himanshu Chaturvedi, CMD, Himanshu Tennis Clinic (HTC) Sports Pvt Ltd said, “For sure whatever happened (Mahesh and Bopanna's disagreement to partner Leander Paes), it was not good at all.

It was unfortunate for the tennis duo to face such ban, after accomplishing so many feats while representing India in the past. But, he had jumped the line and had threatened to walk out of the Olympics, if forced to partner Leander.

Himanshu said, “No person is bigger than any sport or nation. You cannot refuse what the authority wants to do.” Especially putting up a strong doubles pair in the form of Bhupathi and Paes was done in the greater interest of the nation. Had Mahesh agreed to partner Paes in the London Olympics, he would have never seen such embarrassing days.

Bhupathi is even considering a legal route against the AITA. But it is understood that the ban would not be easily lifted and it is here to stay. Bhupathi can only fight. Himanshu said, “Let him file a case. The court can ask AITA to hear him out.” The AITA have done what they thought was right. Himanshu said, “The AITA does not have any personal grudges, but they (AITA) have only taken a disciplinary action.” Paes and Bhupathi's combination was the best bet for a medal. He further said, “ India lost the medal due to ego problems.

The Indian team failed to win any medal during the 2012 Olympics in Lawn Tennis. Bhupathi and Bopanna created so much of hue and cry before the doubles team was selected for Olympics. But, after creating all sorts of tension, the Indian pair could not go anywhere close to a medal match. He added, “They should in fact be punished for not getting any medal for the country.

But what future lies ahead for these two players? Bhupathi is past his prime and age is catching up with him as well. So, it should not matter. But Bopanna might be the one who still has some good years left in him. But this episode will not help Bopanna for the future.

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