The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has been asked by the Bombay High Court to file a reply with regard to a private training academy run by chief national coach Pullela Gopichand.
Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice A.V. Mohta observed on Monday that it was ‘ethically’ wrong on the part of Mr. Gopichand, who also heads the national selection panel, to run a private training institute.
“He may be a good coach. But in the interest of fairness, a national coach should not run a private academy,” said the court.
The court was hearing a petition filed by 19-year-old badminton player Prajakta Sawant, who has alleged mental torture by Mr. Gopichand after she was refused entry to the national coaching camp in Hyderabad.
“The court has also directed the petitioners to include the BAI as a respondent in the said petition and its reply on Mr. Gopichand’s private training academy will be heard on December 19,” said counsel for Ms. Sawant Piyush Shaha. The court had asked the BAI to allow the petitioner to participate in the next camp in January.
According to the petitioner, she had asked Mr. Gopichand to change her doubles’ partners, after which he held a grudge against her. She was also accused of not being ‘serious’ about badminton by Mr. Gopichand after she informed that she was not comfortable with her doubles’ partners.
According to Ms. Sawant, she was informed on telephone by Mr. Gopichand that she will not be allowed to participate in the camp.