The Sports Authority of India (SAI) lodged a complaint with Uttar Pradesh Police after several athletes were duped through “false Khelo India advertisement” on social media, allegedly by an Agra man, it stated in a press release on Wednesday. “The Sports Authority of India has received several complaints from grassroots-level athletes from across the country that an advertisement has been posted on social media platforms, inviting applications to participate in the Khelo India games scheduled in Panchkula in Haryana in 2021,” the SAI said in the statement.
“In the advertisement, athletes have been asked to deposit Rs 6,000 for enrolling in the Khelo India camp and have been assured that they can participate after trials. A phone number was mentioned in the advertisement. Acting as an aspirant, the SAI has managed to get bank account details of the concerned person who is a resident of Agra,” it added.
The advertisement also uses the logos of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Sports Authority of India and Khelo India, which misled several athletes to believe it to be a government ad. The Sports Authority of India has asked for an immediate investigation into the matter.
Khelo India is a government event and athletes do not need to pay any money to participate in it. No trials are conducted by the SAI/Khelo India. Athletes qualify in the Khelo India games on the basis of their performances in school/university games, organised by the School Games Federation of India/Association of Indian Universities.