Rohan Bopanna questions confusion over qualification for Tokyo Olympics; releases alleged call recordings with AITA official

Indian tennis star Rohan Bopanna has hit back at All India Tennis Association Secretary-General Anil Dhupar.

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has issued a statement criticizing Rohan Bopanna after the Arjuna awardee and Sania Mirza alleged there has been misinformation about the Tokyo Olympics qualification from the Indian tennis body.

An angry Bopanna has hit back at AITA and shared an alleged phone call with AITA general secretary Anil Dhupar, who insisted that Bopanna and Sumit Nagal will still make it to the Olympics. Bopanna tweeted the video of a phone call he allegedly had with him that showed Dhupar’s name in his contacts. As a further statement, Bopanna urged AITA to stop lying about the blame lying with players.

“Good morning… AITA Secretary General blatantly lying saying ITF accepted the entry.  Stop LYING to everyone and its time for a change. Its been 50+ years all players have suffered thanks to the federation incompetence,” he captioned the tweet.

The national tennis federation’s statement condemned Sania Mirza’s and Rohan Bopanna’s comments criticizing the AITA, who accused the AITA of misleading “everyone” by wrongly claiming that it had paired him with Sumit Nagal for the Tokyo Olympics.

For the men’s doubles event, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) paired Bopanna and Divij Sharan, but they failed to make the cut due to their low combined ranking of 113. AITA, however, saw hope after Nagal made the cut for the men’s singles on July 16 after many players withdrew. Due to the fact that singles players are given priority to fill doubles draws, AITA saw a chance for a men’s doubles team to enter the event. According to the AITA, its new combination pairs Bopanna with Nagal.

AITA’s claim was countered by Bopanna, 41, on Monday.

“ITF has never accepted an entry for Sumit Nagal & myself. ITF was clear that no changes were allowed after the nomination deadline (22nd June) unless Injury/Illness. AITA has mislead the players, government, media and everyone else by stating we still have a chance,” Bopanna tweeted.

Secretary-general Anil Dhupar said the AITA reached out to the ITF for a change in nomination. AITA said Bopanna’s comments are “due to lack of knowledge and without understanding the facts, rules of ITF and is unwarranted and totally misleading.”

“Even the comments of Sania Mirza are most inappropriate. Ranking of Rohan with Divij or Sumit Nagal were not good enough for qualification. So how did we we lose an opportunity to win medals either in men’s doubles or mixed doubles,” the statement read.

The tennis competition is set to begin on July 24.

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