The allegations of manipulation in rankings to favour a specific player has forced AITA to admit an inordinate delay in updation of their system.
However, the All India Tennis Association has firmly refuted the charges of favouritism.
The AITA recently received a complaint from a parent of an under-14 player that his daughter has been denied the top spot in the rankings because penalty points were not imposed on a specific player for no-show and late withdrawal on many occasions.
In addition to that, the AITA, in an unusual manner, made an early addition of points to the tally of the players for the week of August 19.
“The AITA added points of players one week in advance and issued new rankings. If the points were added on September 2 (for the week of August 19), when they were due, my daughter would have been number one in her age category on August 26,” said Srinivasan, who is based out of Hyderabad.
As per the ITF rules, the points are counted on a 52-week roll over system, which means points from a particular tournament are added two weeks after the conclusion of that event.
“My daughter has been denied the chance to train in Thailand since they picked the number one player. And it’s not about just one-week training abroad, it’s also about a wrong which has been done. Why they did not deduct penalty points early?,” questioned Srinivasan.
“They should rectify the rankings of weeks of August 19 and 26 respectively, which will make my daughter eligible for the training stint in Thailand.”
Srinivasan also alleged that points of the same player were not deleted from the system between mid-April and mid-June 2019 as per the 52-week rule.
AITA Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee admitted that there was a delay in updating the ranking points in their system.
“I had asked for an enquiry and it has been pointed out to me that there has been a delay in (penalty) point deduction but nothing major. Parents keep complaining about one thing or the other. It’s perpetual. Our official was on leave at that time, so it could not be done,” Chatterjee told PTI.
“Very soon, we wil be going digital with our ranking system, so that it is updated automatically. As of now, it is being done manually. Yes, there has been a delay but heavens would not fall for that. Eventually, the points were deducted and whatever is left, will be done, what’s the problem.”
Asked about early addition of points for the week of August 19, Chatterjee said, “there is no hard and fast rule.”
“What we do in AITA is that, if there are more tournaments happening in one week, it takes lot of time to update the system, so we sometimes do it early. It benefits all players since they get a chance to enter various qualifying tournaments. And points of the complainant’s daughter were also added. All these allegations are rubbish.”
When Srinivasan was asked about Chatterjee’s assertions, he countered, “In the last two years, there is no precedent of points being added one week earlier. Why only now it has been done? And the number of tournaments in a week is by and large the same.”
“I had got a reply from the AITA office that due to an administrative mistake, the penalty was not imposed for ‘no-show’ and withdrawals. Do you want to believe that?” he questioned.