Khelo India
Khelo India
Photo: Twitter/ Khelo India

The Sports Authority of India has lodged an FIR and demanded an immediate probe after several athletes across the country were duped of money through a false advertisement for next year's Khelo India Games.

The Khelo India Games are scheduled to be held in Panchkula next year.

"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 governing body said in a statement.

"In the advertisement athletes have been asked to deposit Rs 6000 for enrolling in the Khelo India camp and have been assured that they can participate in Khelo India Games after trials."

SAI said the advertisement also used "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 advertisement." The apex body has managed to get the bank details of the culprit and demanded an immediate probe into the matter.

"A phone number was mentioned in advt. Acting as an aspirant, SAI has managed to get bank account details of the person, who is a resident of Agra," SAI said.

"The Sports Authority of India has lodged an FIR with the Uttar Pradesh police and asked for an immediate investigation of the issue." Khelo India Games, the government's flagship grassroots talent hunt programme, will return for its fourth edition next year.

SAI made it clear that "Khelo India is a government scheme and athletes do not need to pay any money to participate in it.

"No trails are conducted by SAI/Khelo India. Athletes qualify for participating in Khelo India Games based on their performances in School Games/University Games organized by SGFI/AIU."

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