New Delhi: Furious with shooter Abhinav Bindra’s sustained campaign against tainted officials in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the suspended body’s president Abhay Singh Chautala on Friday launched a personal attack on the former Olympic gold-medallist.
Taking a jibe at the former world champion’s father, AS Bindra, who was arrested in 2009 for alleged financial irregularities, Chautala told a news channel, “If Bindra feels that chargesheeted people should be stripped of their positions then he should throw his father out of his house or leave his house himself”.
The comment drew sharp reaction from the National Rifles Association of India (NRAI) with its president Raninder Singh saying Chautala should focus on putting his own house in order.
“It’s like the big pot calling the small kettle black. People who live in glasshouses should not make such statements. Our Olympic medallist is being attacked with very shallow words. I know the Bindra family well. He (Bindra) has every right to speak. As NRAI president, I strongly condemn this,” Raninder said.
Bindra also got the backing of tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi, who is also campaigning for the ouster of tainted officials from the IOA. Bhupathi on Thursday threw his weight behind the campaign, saying that ethics in sport and sports administration are “non-negotiable”.
“Ethics in sport and sports administration are non-negotiable, and cannot be ‘compromised’ in any manner whatsoever. As long as sport in this country is not governed in an ethical and fair manner, I strongly believe this ban will, rightly so, continue to stay,” Bhupathi, who is also part of the campaign, said in a statement.
“I am proud of the sporting community in India for joining forces in standing up for what we all believe is right — fair representation, good governance and just treatment of sports and sports people.
“Abhinav spearheaded this campaign to show solidarity in our beliefs and it is encouraging to see that the campaign has not only gained momentum amongst sportspersons, but also the masses. This is a baby step in the right direction and we look forward on building from here,” Bhupathi added.