Karnataka High Court stays ban on Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna

Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna will take a huge sigh of relief as the  Karnataka High Court on Saturday stayed the decision of the All India Tennis Association (AITA) not to consider the two players  till the end of June 2014, says a report in The Hindu.

Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar passed the interim order during the hearing on the petitions filed by the doubles pair challenging the September 13 decision of the AITA’s Ethics Committee, which was approved by the Executive Committee on September 15.

The court has also ordered issue of notices to the AITA and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

The  petitioners have pointed out that  it was Leander Paes who threatened to withdraw from the Olympics and no action has been taken against him. Petitioners also pointed thet Bhupathi and Bopanna never threaten to withdraw from Olympics.

“However, no action has been taken against Mr. Paes, who was the only one of the three players, including the petitioners, who threatened the AITA with withdrawal from the Olympics if his wish to be paired with either of the petitioners was not acceded to and made this decision known to the AITA in writing,” they have stated.

Meanwhile, The Indian Express reports that the stayed order on Bhupathi-Bopanna ban is not a setback for AITA.

“You have to understand that this is an ex-party stay and the AITA has not presented its side yet. This move does not mean that Bhupathi, Bopanna are back in the team. Anyway no India team is being formed right now, so it is not an emergency situation for us,” Anil Dhupar, chairman of the selection committee and AITA's spokesperson was quoted saying in the report.

"The allegations that Bhupathi is alleging the AITA of are baseless. I don't know why he is blaming the AITA in the first place because wasn't he our first choice member in the team for the Olympics. It was he who refused to play out of his ego. He should be thankful to the selection committee who sent him to London despite that," Dhupar added.