The All India Tennis Association (AITA) today voiced its support for Leander Paes, advising a section of media to consider his illustrious Davis Cup career before questioning his commitment.
A fresh controversy broke out when Paes arrived ‘late’ at the Games Village for his historic seventh appearance at the Olympics.
The 43-year-old Paes was playing in World Team Tennis for Washington Castles before arriving in Brazil.
Pictures of Rohan Bopanna, his doubles partner in Rio, practising with Serbian player Nenad Zimonjic and compatriot Sania Mirza were flashed, triggering the controversy.
“All India Tennis Association requests the media to see the history of Davis Cup for the last 25 years, Leander’s participation in the last six Olympics as well as Asian Games and ascertain for themselves the commitment which Leander Paes has shown for the nation. Davis Cup, Olympics & Asian Games records speak for themselves,” AITA Secretary General Bharat Oza said in a statement.
“This is the time when efforts of everyone should be to unite the team by correct understanding of Leander’s role in India’s Davis Cup Olympics and Asian Games history and his commitment to the nation over the last 25 years,” the statement added further.