New Delhi: One of India's most beloved daughters Sakshi Malik found herself dragged into the India-Pakistan diplomatic tensions when her comments on freedom of playing and contesting any other player, in any platform was taken out of context.
But the Rio Olympics bronze-medallist was quick to clear the air. On Friday, the 24-year-old wrestler from Rohtak slammed unfounded media reports which claimed that she wanted Pakistani players to play in different leagues in India.
"Media has been, since morning, wrongly highlighting that I want Pakistani players should be invited to participate in various international sports events. I haven't said anything like that," Sakshi told reporters on the sidelines of function in Bengaluru.
Sakshi further clarified that she had only said that players have the rights to play against any other player in the world, and not more than that.
"What I told was – players have all the rights - like we participate in the Games (Olympics) and we happen to play against other players, belonging to different countries... I haven't advocated Pakistani players should be allowed to play in India," she explained.
The 58 kg freestyle wrestler, and shuttler PV Sindhu, saved India the blushes at Rio Olympics by winning a bronze and silver medal respectively.
After losing to eventual finalist Valeria Koblova of Russia in the quarterfinal, she qualified for the repechage round at Rio.
In the bronze medal play-off, she came from behind (0-5) to beat the reigning Asian champion Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan (8-5) and became India's first female wrestler Olympic medalist.
She had previously won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the same weight category.
(With Agency inputs)