Indian pistol shooter Heena Sidhu has pulled out of the Asian Airgun Shooting Championship in Iran due to the compulsory hijab rule for all women athletes.
The former world number one thinks that forcing athletes to wear a hijab is against the spirit of a sport.
“Sport is an exhibition of sheer human effort performance. Our ability to dig deep for strength, will power and determination. This is the reason I compete and I cannot compete for anything lesser than this. But I would also not have my personal opinion politicised,” Sidhu wrote on her twitter handle.
The championship is scheduled be held in Iran’s capital Tehran in December.
The two-time Olympian had written to the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) about her decision of withdrawing from the competition. “I thank the NRAI for respecting my views and I would also like to wish luck to our team competing in Iran. Lets concentrate on the competition rather than hijab.”
She further said, “I’m proud to be a sportsperson because people from different cultures, backgrounds, sexes, ideologies, religion can come together and compete without biases. I’m not a revolutionary. But I feel that making it mandatory to wear hijab is not in the spirit of a sport.”