Two of India's Olympic heroes -- wrestler Sushil Kumar and boxer Vijender Singh -- have come out in support of badminton star Saina Nehwal, who is still awaiting payment from her endorsement deal with Deccan Chronicle despite coughing up Rs 70 lakh advance tax for it.
Saina, who recently signed a Rs 40 crore deal with Rhiti Sports Management Group, has reportedly still not got the Rs 3 to 4 crore of endorsement that was due to her as part of her deal with Deccan.
The London Olympic bronze-medallist, ironically, paid the tax in advance. Both Vijender and Sushil said the woman who changed the face of badminton in India deserved better.
Sushil, who went one better on his Beijing bronze with a silver in London, said such instances are disappointing.
"It's very disappointing to witness this sort of infringement in this industry. We athletes work very hard to make our country proud but at the same time we trust the people we are managed by," he said.
"It's quite embarrassing to be caught up in this sort of situation but I hope things work out for the best for Saina," added 2008 Olympics bronze-medallist Vijender.
Saina had endorsed more than several products during her association with DC and the agreement was that the money would be routed to her account through her managers.
Saina has apparently tried contacting Deccan for her payments but has not got any response.
No official from Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited could be reached for their comments on the issue. A sms message to DCHL Chairman T Venkatram Reddy also went unanswered.