Jwala Gutta relieved at BAI’s decision to drop the charges against her

Hyderabad: Jwala Gutta’s long, acrimonious fight with the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has finally come to an amicable end, putting a stop to months of legal wrangling and mud-slinging. But the champion shuttler seems weary.

“Sometimes I wonder if I should just give up all this fighting,” Jwala says a day after the BAI announced its decision to drop all charges against her. “But then, I think about what my father used to tell me when I was a child — he told me to always stand up for what I believe in, and to be ready to fight for it.”

Sharing the details of how her fight with BAI came to a close, Jwala says, “Ashwini and I were gearing up for our final in New Delhi when we were informed that BAI president Akhilesh Dasgupta wanted to speak to me. So I met him after the match and explained that I was only doing what was well within my rights. He seemed to understand and said that even he was unhappy with what had happened, so we buried the hatchet then and there.”

She may be relieved at BAI’s decision to drop the charges against her, but Jwala is hurt by national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand’s lack of support during the whole controversy. “Being a former player, he knows what we go through and with his influence he could have made all this go away. But he chose to keep silent. I’ve lost my trust in him.”

Jwala says she will speak to Gopi only if necessary but for now, “I would prefer to just keep my distance.”

It all began when Jwala and her IBL side, the Delhi Smashers, protested a last-minute player switch by the Banga Beats in Bengaluru. In a letter signed by the entire team and its management, the Smashers threatened to pull out of the tie if the team changes weren't reversed. The player in question, Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen, was subsequently dropped by the Beats following which, the match started with a 30-minute delay.

BAI took a grim view of the proceedings and initiated disciplinary action against Jwala. They announced they were considering a life ban on her for her role in the matter, unless she issued an apology.

Refusing to cave in, Jwala took BAI to court, which ruled on her behalf. “I explained to the president that I had to move court only as a last resort,” she says.

“Neither the president of BAI nor anyone else had anything against me personally. They were turned against me by a few people with their own agendas to pursue,” Jwala hints at a deeper conspiracy.
She may feel slighted by coach Gopichand but she acknowledges the support received from other quarters. “Everything I had achieved and fought for was in danger of being destroyed,” Jwala admits, adding that she will always be grateful to her family, friends and the media.

( Source : dc )
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