Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bangalore/Bhubaneswar, July 17:
With her promising career at the crossroads, top Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand is a sad person today.
“I am sad. Had the medical tests been conducted earlier, I could have got myself cured and participated in the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow. If my state takes steps to get me cured, I will again play for my country in international events and bring laurels for the country,” said a depressed Dutee.
Dutee Chand’s career came to a grinding halt after medical tests conducted by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) South Centre iN Bangalore revealed that she was not eligible to compete in the female category due to high testosterone levels in her body.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government stepped in today by sending two women coaches Rupanwita Panda and Usha Mohanty to Bangalore SAI.
“We have received no communication from the Athletic Federation of India in this regard. We have sent two women coaches to Bangalore. They will be reaching in the evening and will speak to Dutee,” State Sports secretary Saswat Mishra today told newsmen.
A press release issued by SAI in Bangalore on Wednesday said; “Preliminary investigations indicate that the athlete is not fit for participation in a female event due to female hyperandrogenism. The athlete will still be able to compete in the female category in future if she takes proper medical help and lowers her androgen level to the specified range”.
The release further said; “We reiterate that these test results do not determine her gender. The test simply tells us that she has excess androgen in her body and is therefore not eligible to compete in the female category.”
SAI had conducted the tests following a request from the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).
SAI hasn’t named any athlete in its press release. Since Dutee had undergone tests at a private hospital in Bangalore, it was confirmed that the athlete was none other than she.
“The issue of an athlete with hyperandrogenism was brought to our notice by AFI. SAI has conducted this test following regulations set by international sport organisations like the IAAF and the IOC for governing eligibility of females with hyperandrogenism to compete in the women’s competition. This test does not determine the athlete’s gender. As the IOC and the IAAF have banned gender verification tests, we were trying to find out if the athlete has excess androgen in her body,” said SAI release.