New Delhi: Sania Mirza and AITA have publicly released a statement rubbishing reports that said her mother Nasima Mirza had contacted and spoken to AITA Life president and ITF vice president Anil Khanna asking the national tennis body to look into the matter surrounding Venus Williams’ usage of Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) substances which are part of the banned substances list by WADA.
The matter had come to light when Russian hacking group ‘Fancy Bears’ had breached WADA security and revealed medical information of 29 athletes in total including Venus and her sister Serena. The topic has ramifications for Indian sport because Sania and Rohan Bopanna had lost to Venus and Rajeev Ram in the semi-finals of the mixed doubles event at Rio Olympics. And as per rules, if a medal winning athlete is found to have used banned substances, the medal is stripped and passes on to the next in line.
The press release by AITA said, “All India Tennis Association has received no communication from either Mrs Nasima Mirza or Ms Sania Mirza or MYAS regarding the issue of WADA, as has been reported by the section of media,” and it is signed by the honourary secretary general Hironmoy Chatterjee.
The image of the statement was tweeted by Mirza herself with the text of “Hope this clears EVERYTHING out!And hoping this will make as big headlines as the ‘controversy’! #unneccessarydrama”. The initial report had also cited an AITA office bearer to have said that the body won’t rush into a probe or contact Indian Olympic Association (IOA) or International Olympic Committee (IOC) to take action.
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.