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Bindra denies NRAI allegation

September 19, 2008 16:45 IST

India's first individual Olympic [Images] gold medallist Abhinav Bindra [Images] on Friday denied the National Rifle Association of India's allegations that he was "ungrateful" by not acknowledging its contribution in his success but refused to make further comment to prevent a controversy.

NRAI president Digvijay Singh on Thursday told a television channel that the success of Bindra and Asian gold medallist Jaspal Rana has been possible due to the system set up by the Indian shooting federation but it seems to have gone to their heads and their statements betray arrogance.

"I am not fully aware what he [Digvijay] has said but whatever I have been told is that he has called me ungrateful, which is not true," Bindra said.

"In my first interview [after winning the Olympic gold] I had thanked NRAI and all concerned. Later many times I repeated the same thing but raising this issue at this point of time is rather unfortunate. To comment on it would be just a waste of time," the 25-year-old shooter said.

Bindra urged the media not to fuel the issue.

"The matter is unworthy to talk of. The media should also not add fuel to the fire. Don't you agree with me," he asked sarcastically.

Bindra expressed full satisfaction about his coach Gabriela Buhlmann and said, "The euphoria is continuing for a while but soon I will be back to task. I have no plans to change my coaches. I have been working with my coach Gabriela Buhlmann and a set of people. As of now I would continue with them."

The shooter, who won the gold in 10m air-rifle in Beijing [Images], said joint effort of authorities, players and all related parties is required to improve the sport in the country.

"My success has given confidence to many others. It is duty of all concerned people to work jointly and try to create more and more facilities for more and more people across the nation. If we all put joint efforts the facilities would also reach the poor.

"Those who are in power and run the sport should do their job more efficiently," Bindra said.

To tap more talents in the country, he is planning to set up his own academy.

"I plan to establish my own academy. The modalities are being worked upon so for now I am not sure where it would be located," he said.

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