New Delhi: Mahesh Bhupathi has complained to the Sports Ministry over selection of the men`s double team for London Olympics raising apprehensions over the AITA`s selection process wherein he is being forced to pair with estranged partner Leander Paes.
In a strongly-worded letter to Sports Minister Ajay Maken, Bhupathi has stated that "the manner in which this has been communicated and handled by the All India Tennis Association defies logic".
"If the objective, as proved by latter events, was to send only one team, why was this not communicated to the players clearly and well in advance such that the team proposed to be sent to the Olympics could train together and play together?" Bhupathi asked.
"We failed to understand how, without notice, putting together a combination of two players who haven`t played together in months serves the interest of the country," added the 12-time Grand Slam winner.
AITA`s decision, Bhupathi said, has "surprised" and "disappointed" him.
"At a time when our country is doing its best to improve its Olympic record, the stance taken by AITA of refusing to nominate a team that has legitimately qualified on its own record -- and instead nominating two players who have failed in four previous Olympic events and who have not played together this year -- is bemusing and difficult for to understand," Bhupathi was quoted as saying in the letter.
Bhupathi categorically stated that the AITA did not communicate to them its plan in advance.
"At no point did the AITA suggest that we would be considered as anything but a team; in fact, their correspondence of March 2012 proactively states that `we have great possibility of having two doubles team in the Olympics main draw`."
The Bangalorean requested Maken to intervene and resolve the issue.
"As players who have worked hard and brought laurels to the country, we appeal to your good offices and your sense of fairness and sincerely hope that you will intervene based on the principles of natural justice and rectify this situation so that we may be able to participate as a team at the London Olympics as we rightfully deserve to do."