India’s top female sprinter banned from Commonwealth Games over testosterone levels
An Indian sprinter has been banned from the Commonwealth games because she naturally exhibits high testosterone levels.
18-year-old Dutee Chand, who is the Indian National Champion for the 100 metre sprint, has been banned from competing as a woman in the event – which starts this month – after the Sports Authority of India discovered the test results.
Sporting bodies maintain that women with naturally high testosterone levels have an unfair advantage in events, with South African distance runner Caster Semenya investigated in 2009.
The SAI said: “We have conducted such a test on one athlete. For confidentiality protocol, the name cannot be disclosed.
“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.
“We have simply followed the guidelines provided by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the International Olympic Committee).
“This test does not determine the athlete’s gender. IOC and the IAAF have banned gender-verification tests. We are therefore simply trying to find out if the athlete has excess androgen in her body.”
Chand told reporters: “I am completely shattered over the development. I am an athlete and wanted to bring glory to my country. All my efforts have gone astray.”
Trans Media Watch told GayStarNews: “Ms Chand grew up as a girl and remains a woman. There is no possibility that she could ‘really’ be a man and suggestions along these lines are likely to cause acute distress.
“Ms Chand has just lost one of the most exciting opportunities in her career. She is facing an uncertain future.”