Mumbai: Stung by the two-year ban imposed on him, Mahesh Bhupathi on Tuesday hit back at the AITA, accusing the parent body of resorting to "divide-and-rule" policy.
Bhupathi also told the media that he does not blame Leander Paes for the London Games fiasco over the selection of the teams.
He didn't mince with words as he made a scathing attack on AITA and its president Anil Khanna, saying the AITA had a personal vendetta against him.
"Khanna has redefined the term divide-and-rule. Ahead of the London Olympics, he intentionally created a rift between Leander and me," Bhupathi said at a press conference.
Bhupathi said he was now exploring legal options to contest against the ban.
"We are definitely pursuing a legal route. (My) lawyers are deciding the course of action," he said.
Bhupathi informed that he was not intimated about the ban by AITA and also said that he was available for last week's Davis Cup tie against New Zealand.
"I always feel like playing for India… I was available for the tie last week but no one from AITA asked me. I actually got the email about the ban from a press person."
Bhupathi indicated that he may have played his last match for the country due to the ban. "Two years is a long time… I think I have played my last match for the country."
Bhupathi also plans to retire from all kinds of tennis next year. "I'm getting old… Next year will be my last on the Tour definitely," the 38-year-old said.
Talking about the fiasco over team selection ahead of the London Olympics, he said: "No one made an effort to talk to me or Leander. Zero effort was made to get us in a room and solve the issue."
Though Leander and Bhupathi's differences are well-documented, the latter refrained from saying anything against his former partner.
"Leander is not to be blamed for this. He is playing the part of a professional player and he wants to do the best he can do for himself. It is no secret that who should have been the right choice for mixed doubles in the Olympics based on past performances."
Asked why he did not comment on these issues earlier, Bhupathi said: "It was frustrating for everyone concerned. But we went on doing our own work. (But) this (the ban) was the tilting point.
Questioned on why he does not contest the elections, Bhupathi said, "No one can contest the elections at present as there is a lot of loopholes in the system."