Odisha Sun Times Sports Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 28:
Odisha’s star athlete Dutee Chand won a huge reprieve when the Lausanne based Court of Arbitration on Sports (CAS), in an interim order, cleared her to participate in all international events for the next two years.
The CAS ruling means Dutee, barred from competitions as per International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) rules because of a medical condition called hyperandrogenism, can now aspire to participate in the Rio Olympics next year. The court had earlier allowed the sprinter to take part in national events.
In its interim order ruling on Friday, the CAS panel hearing Dutee’s appeal consisting of Justice Annabelle Claire Bennett (Australia), Prof. Richard H. McLaren, Canada and Dr Hans Nater (Switzerland) suspended the IAAF Regulation Governing Eligibility of Females with Hyperandrogenism to Compete in Women’s Competition” (the “Hyperandrogenism Regulations”) for a maximum period of two years in order to give the IAAF the opportunity to provide the CAS with scientific evidence about the quantitative relationship between enhanced testosterone levels and improved athletic performance in hyperandrogenic athletes.
“In the absence of such evidence, the CAS Panel is unable to conclude that hyperandrogenic female athletes may benefit from such a significant performance advantage that it is necessary to exclude them from competing in the female category,” the court held.
“While the Hyperandrogenism Regulations are suspended, Ms Dutee Chand is permitted to compete in both national and international level athletics events. Should the IAAF not file any scientific evidence within the two-year period granted by the CAS Panel, the Hyperandrogenism Regulations will be declared void,” the panel said in its verdict.
In her reaction to the CAS ruling, Dutee Chand has said she would now prepare in right earnest for the Rio Olympics next year.
“I would work hard to achieve the eligibility mark of 11.32 seconds for 100 meters and 23.20 seconds for the 200 meter to qualify for the Olympics,” Dutee told OST this morning over phone from Hyderabad where she is training.
“I was completely shattered after the ban. I had lost hopes of competing in international events ever again. As a result, my performance steadily went down as reflected in the third position I secured in the national athletics at Chennai recently. But this ruling has brought the hunger back in the belly,” said the ecstatic athlete.
Dutee said she would appeal to the Government of India to sponsor her training in the USA to allow her to prepare for the Olympics in right earnest.