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'Will kill myself if any athlete complains against me': Under-fire sports official claims political hand in scandal

IOA treasurer Anandeshwar Pandey said it is regrettable that details of his past private life are being used to malign his image in sports administration.

Will kill myself if any athlete complains against me: Under-fire sports official claims political hand in scandal

Photos of IOA official Anandeshwar Pandey with multiple women have been leaked on social media over the last week.


Dipankar Lahiri

Updated: 23 Aug 2022 11:49 AM GMT

A series of photos showing highly-placed sports official Anandeshwar Pandey, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) treasurer and UP Olympic Association secretary, in compromising positions with multiple women has caused a storm in Indian sports administration this week. However, the under-fire official told The Bridge that details of his past private life are being dug up as part of a political conspiracy.

In a letter written by the Lucknow Regional Sports Officer Ajay Sethi last week, an explanation has been sought from Pandey. A complaint against him has also been filed in the Chief Minister's portal and a copy of the complaint letter has been sent to the District Magistrate.

The letter said, "Anandeshwar Pandey is staying in the KD Singh Babu Stadium in Lucknow, beside which there is a girls' hostel. The viral photos showing him in a compromising position are bringing a bad name to Uttar Pradesh."

Speaking to The Bridge after filing a complaint with the Lucknow Police cyber cell on Tuesday, Pandey said the allegations against him are part of a conspiracy and that it is regrettable that his private life has been used to malign his image in sports.

"Somebody is out to defame me. I have made a complaint against unnamed individuals, but this is a political conspiracy and there must be a big person's hand behind it," he said.

"If any of the athletes who come to train ever complains against me, hang me. I will kill myself. I have been in sports since the 1970s, there has never been any such incident," he added.

Pandey, who is also the chairman of the Coordination Committee for the National Games set to be held next month, said this development must be linked with the upcoming IOA elections, where he is yet again set to contest. "Some faction is out to malign my name, these photos had surfaced before as well. The law will take its course now. We shall see who turns out to be the guilty party," he said.

A former national-level runner, Pandey started his career as a handball player and first represented Uttar Pradesh in the nationals in 1977-78.

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