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AITA denies players threatening CWG pullout for non-payment

The All India Tennis Association dismissed media reports that Mahesh Bhupathi, Leander Paes, Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna have threatened to pull out of the Commonwealth Games due to non-clearance of Davis Cup dues.



New Delhi: The All India Tennis Association
on Thursday dismissed media reports that the star quartet of Mahesh
Bhupathi, Leander Paes, Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna has
threatened to pull out of the Commonwealth Games due to
non-clearance of Davis Cup dues and lack of financial
assistance for preparations.

According to a report the players wrote to AITA Secretary
General Anil Khanna that if their dues were not cleared by
September, they will not play in the October 3 to 14 Delhi
Games.

The letter was reportedly signed by Bhupathi, Paes,
Somdev and Bopanna. However, Khanna rubbished the claim.
- "No player has threatened to pull out of Commonwealth
Games. This is all wrong information. There is no issue as far
as Davis Cup is concerned. All the dues are cleared. Even the
dues of the last tie against Russia have been paid," Khanna
told reporters.

"Players actually have written specifically that they are
satisfied by the Davis Cup arrangements. As far as the
assistance for the CWG is concerned, we are in talks with the
Sports Ministry and the issue will be resolved soon," he
added.

AITA also claimed that the government has acknowledged
the concerns expressed by elite players and is ready to
release funds for them also.

"I am pleased that the government has decided to take a
practical view as has been suggested by AITA for the past one
year and the government is going to provide financial
assistance to the elite players as well," Khanna said in a
statement, released early in the day.

The sum that government had earmarked for training of the
tennis players was Rs 21 crore but according to sources only
one fourth has been spent till date.

The money so far has been spent for organising CWG
preparatory camps and sending players abroad for training and
competition.

The players are required to present their tickets, hotel
bills and other expense bills to get reimbursements.

Till date Somdev, Bopanna, Paes and Sania Mirza have not
got a single penny while Bhupathi has been paid a small amount
according to media reports.

PTI

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