New Delhi: The Union sports ministry Saturday stated that iconic sportspersons are "national heroes" and that it has "zero tolerance" to attacks on them.
Though the ministry did not take any names in its statement, it was clearly pointing to the unsavoury verbal attack by the president of the suspended Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Abhay Singh Chautala on the father of India`s lone Olympic individual gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra.
"The ministry has observed with considerable disquiet, comments by individuals in the media casting aspersions on certain sportspersons who have brought laurels to the country in international sports events," said the statement.
"The ministry reiterates that it considers international sports awardees as national heroes and has zero tolerance to attacks against sportspersons. The ministry of youth affairs and sports remains committed to furthering the cause of Indian sportspersons and sports in India."
In a no holds barred personal attack on Bindra Friday, Chautala referred to the shooter`s father being jailed in a cheque bouncing case.
"Abhinav`s father has been in jail for more than a month in a cheque bouncing case. If Bindra has a problem with tainted people, then he should first disown his father or leave his house immediately," Chautala had said.