Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, July 22:
The Union government on Monday assured to provide all possible assistance to Odisha’s top sprinter Dutee Chand for her participation in future sports events.
Dutee Chand, the top woman athlete from Odisha was excluded from the Indian squad for the Commonwealth Games in the last minute on the ground of having high androgen level.
Union Sports minister Sarbnanda Sonowal told the Lok Sabha “This is a very sensitive question. I assure the august House that our government will extend all possible help to this player to participate in future events”.
Sonowal made the statement after senior BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab raised the issue during the ‘zero hour’.
Drawing the attention of the government to the issue, Mahtab said the promising career of ace sprinter from Odisha Dutee Chand had come to ‘a grinding halt’ due to a sex test conducted on her just ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
The senior BJD MP from Cuttack insisted that the government seek a reply from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) as to why only she was put to the test and appealed to the government to take steps so that Dutee could overcome the androgen level and resume her career.
Referring to the laurels brought to the country by the athlete in 100 metre and 200 metre events, the BJD leader said the gender test conducted just ahead of the Games was “illegal”.