Khel Ratna Award to Sania Mirza and Controversy: Now, Pankaj Advani breaks silence

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New Delhi, Sept 4: Days after the controversy, Pankaj Advani finally broke his silence. Now, he claimed that he never had slammed the central government for conferring Khel Ratna award to Sania Mirza.

Accusing media of misquoting him, Advani said that his critical remarks on Sania Mirza getting the Khel Ratna were nothing but a "figment of somebody's imagination".

Pankaj Advani

[Tennis player Sania Mirza conferred with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award]

The 13-time World champion cueist insists that his remarks were totally misconstrued. Speaking about the controversy, Advani was quoted as saying, "I mean what I said about the Arjuna award and the whole selection process about the awards has been completely taken out of context."

"In fact the last thing I would want to do as a Khel Ratna awardee is to disrespect someone else who has just received it for her exceptional performances over the last so many years," he added.

[India's Pankaj Advani triumphs in Pakistan, bags his 13th world title]

Commenting on Sania Mirza and her performance, Advani also said, "I think Sania has done extremely well for her country and in fact she broke at the international circuit about the same time as I did, over 10 years ago."

"I would also like to tell certain sections of the media to refrain from giving their representation of my statements or remarks that may cause damage to somebody's image and to the sport as a whole," Advani, who received the Khel Ratna in 2006 and the Arjuna in 2004, added.

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