The long-standing deadlock between India's ace doubles shuttler Jwala Gutta and the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has ended. The national federation has dropped all the charges against the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
It was last week in New Delhi when the impasse is reported to have ended when she met BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta after the 78th senior national championships.
"I am very happy with the decision BAI has taken. I will be playing as a part of the Indian team in future tournaments too. It will be an honour to represent the country as always," Jwala was quoted as saying to the Times of India on Friday. (Read: Ashwini and I are the best, proclaims Jwala)
The BAI had recommended a life ban on Jwala after she had allegedly lead her Indian Badminton League team Delhi Smashers to almost forfeit a match. The BAI disciplinary committee, headed by vice-president S Muralidharan, had recommended a life ban or six years' suspension from all badminton-related activities in the country or a peacemaking reconciliation in case she submits an unconditional apology.
An independent three-member committee was constituted by the BAI to hear Jwala's case on the proposed ban by the disciplinary committee. The panel comprised of Anandeshwar Pandey, joint secretary Indian Olympic Association and general secretary UP Olympic Association, Deepa Mehta, president Luge Federation of India and Swati Shukla, a social worker and former member of Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.
The final decision was left to the BAI president.
In retaliation Jwala took the legal route and the court allowed her to play the tournaments even as investigations had begun. The Sports Ministry also extended its support to the veteran shuttler as Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Jitendra Singh offered assistance to her.
On the badminton court though, Jwala has been in good form of late. After helping the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board dominate the national badminton championship for 15th successive year by winning the Chadha Cup for women in December, Jwala and Ashwini reclaimed the national doubles title for the first time since 2009 after stunning top-seeded pair of Pradnya Gadre and N Sikki Reddy 21-17, 21-16 in the final of the Senior National Badminton Championships last month.
Jwala and Ponnappa are slated to play the Korea Open Super Series in Seoul starting January 7 and now the experienced pair can officially represent India.