IOA backs Sania Mirza

Zeenews Sports Bureau

New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association’s acting president VK Malhotra has backed Sania Mirza after she launched an all-out attack on Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and AITA for treating her as ‘bait’ in the tennis row.

Speaking to a TV news channel, Malhotra said, “Sania Mirza’s reaction to the tennis row is valid. Whatever has happened has happened. Now everybody should concentrate on winning the medal.”

Mirza in a statement on Tuesday slammed AITA for being "offered in compensation to partner one of the feuding champions purely in order to lure him into accepting to play with a men`s player he does not wish to play with!"

The Hyderabadi said it was demeaning for her and Vishnu that Paes had asked for a written assurance to consider paring up with the lower-ranked player in men`s doubles event.

"To Leander Paes I would like to point out that Vishnu Vardhan is an extremely talented player, who I had the privilege of partnering. We went on to win a silver medal for India at the 2010 Asian Games, when all the three male stalwarts of Indian tennis had opted to stay away from Guangzhou," Sania said.

With PTI inputs