Bindra Says NRAI Hurt and Misled Him

Feeling frustrated, the lone individual Olympic gold medal winning shooter Abhinav Bindra has threatened to quit the game, saying that the national body has hurt and misled him, reported CNN-IBN.

Bindra, who won India’s first individual Olympic gold in the 10m air rifle event in Beijing, has been training abroad for this year’s Commonwealth and Asian Games. However, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) wants him home for regular trials.

“I am pretty hurt by the way I have been misled (and ) handled. My last several months have been used training in a very professional manner, mainly in Europe. I also demand some professionalism from back home,” Bindra was quoted as saying.

“I am not asking for much; I am just asking for very basic conditions. There are days when I want to throw away my rifle away. I get upset and it sure has an impact (on my performance). The sport requires peace of mind.”

Sports Ministry wrote to him in July 2009 telling him that the NRAI wanted him to be part of its selection trials for forthcoming competitions, Bindra said, reported CNN-IBN.

He returned to the country in November but now his name ‘doesn’t figure’ in the team selected for the Commonwealth Games championship, he said.

“They kicked me out of the Commonwealth core group team. After that they didn’t consider me for a sponsorship without a discussion,” he was quoted as saying.

“It is just very frustrating and annoying when you have to continuously face situations which are sometimes illogical toward to actual performance.”

In the meanwhile, A S Bindra, his father, felt that his son felt ‘upset’ because the local sports (Punjab) federation has asked him to undergo selection trials.

“Abhinav has been writing to them for six months that he be exempted from these local trials but there is no reply coming, so this has really frustrated him,” A S Bindra was quoted as saying.

However, the NRAI defended itself, saying that if Bindra didn’t want to attend trials, he should have sought the government’s permission.

“We have to select the team after the trials. If he wanted not to come for the trials and get selected in the team then he should have told the government. We have already selected the team and it is approved by the government,” said NRAI Secretary Baljit Singn Sethi was quoted as saying.

The Sports Ministry, in a statement issued on Saturday, said it would not object if Bindra is exempted from trials, the report said.

“It’s for the national sports federations to lay down the selection criteria. If NRAI tells the Ministry tomorrow that it wants to follow a separate approach for the top shooters and exempt Abhinav from trials, we would have no objection. We have received no such request till now,” Injeti Srinivas, Joint Secretary in the Sports Ministry was quoted as saying.

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