AITA said they were indeed approached by Sania Mirza’s family to pursue the WADA hacking issue, which revealed that several international athletes were allegedly allowed to take banned substance under TUE exemptions, but the tennis body did not receive a request in writing.
AITA Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee told PTI they have issued a press release, stating that they did not receive any communication from anyone, to make it clear to the media that the request was not made in writing but only verbally.
It was reported that Sania’s mother Naseema had approached AITA Life President and ITF Vice President Anil Khanna to take up the matter with IOA as papers leaked by Fancy Bears, a Russian hacker group, revealed that tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams were among a few athletes who were allowed to take banned substance under Therapeutic Use Exemptions.
Chatterjee said it was Sania’s father Imran who had approached them and not her mother.
“It was Imran Mirza who spoke to Anil ji, just mentioning that a report (WADA hacking) has come out. What we have stated in the press release is that we have not received any written communication from anyone because some other journalists also wanted to know if we have received written communication. And whatever we have said (yesterday) that once it is established by the authorities, whatever action needs to be taken, will be taken,” Chatterjee said.
Asked specifically if the report that AITA was approached by the Mirza family, seeking IOA and IOC intervention in the matter, stands, Chatterjee replied, “Of course it stands.”
The Indian pair of Sania and Rohan Bopanna had lost to American team of Venus and Rajeev Ram in the semifinals of the mixed doubles event of the Rio Olympics Games.
If any medallist is caught in the dope net, he or she will be stripped of the medal. Then, the medal may be given to the athletes who finished behind the original medallist.
Under WADA rules, athletes may take substances for which they procure a Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) – waivers that allow them to treat medical conditions with medications that may appear on WADA’s prohibited items list.
It has also been reported that ITF has confirmed that the Williams sisters had permission for the therapeutic use of banned drugs. ITF has also come out in favour of the Williams sisters.
Sania posted the AITA release on her twitter page saying, “Hope it clarifies everything out, And hope this will make as big headlines as the ‘controversy’.”
The AITA press release read, “All India Tennis Association has received no communication from either Nasima Mirza or Sania Mirza MYAS regarding the issue of WADA, as has been reported by a section of media.”
The release had no mention of Imran Mirza.