Sprinter Dutee Chand “Not Worried” About Reopening of Gender Case

In July 2015, CAS had made an interim decision to suspend the world body’s Hyperandrogenism Regulations for 2 years.

Updated
Olympic Sports
3 min read
File photo of Dutee Chand. (Photo: <a href="https://twitter.com/IndSportUpdates">IND Sport Updates Twitter</a>)

Just as she prepares to compete at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced its decision to reopen Indian sprinter Dutee Chand’s ‘gender case’. The sports’ parent body will now return to the Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) with new evidence in support of its Hyperandrogenism Policy.

A scientific paper published on the IAAF’s site has found that women who produce higher-than-normal amounts of testosterone have up to a 4.5 percent advantage over their competition on the track, evidence the sport’s governing body will use to potentially sideline Dutee and others with so-called intersex conditions.

On July 27, 2015, in a CAS case between Chand and the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and the International Athletics Association (IAAF), the CAS made an interim decision to suspend the world body's Hyperandrogenism Regulations for a period of two years.

It was done in order to provide the IAAF with an opportunity to submit further evidence as to the degree of performance advantage that hyperandrogenic female athletes have over athletes with normal testosterone levels. Chand was then allowed to compete till a final decision was made.

Dutee Chand celebrates after winning the Women’s 100m race&nbsp;during 55th National Open Athletic Championship. (Photo: PTI)
Dutee Chand celebrates after winning the Women’s 100m race during 55th National Open Athletic Championship. (Photo: PTI)

The sprinter on her part though said she was not worried about the development as her focus is on the game.

"Presently, I am not worried about the development. I am focusing on the Asian Athletics Championships. I have my lawyers and advisors, who will decide what to do on the hyperandrogenism issue," said Dutee.

She, however, said there has been some pressure on her.

"2015 was a bad luck for me after the gender issue cropped up. Then I recovered from the loss and participated in several games in 2016 and won several medals. Though it perturbs me a bit, I won't let it affect my performance," she added.

The IAAF’s latest decision however will not prevent the 21-year-old sprinter from participating in the championship starting from July 5, confirmed IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

There is also no issue for Dutee to compete in the London World Championships to be held in August 2017, if she qualifies, added the IAAF chief.

The medal hopeful will compete in three categories in the Asian Athletics Championship --100 metres, 200 metres and 4X100 metres relay race.

Notably, Dutee was disqualified in 2014 by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) as per IAAF's hyperandrogenism policy after tests revealed that her body produced natural levels of testosterone above permissible range.

The IAAF, in a press release said that the findings of a study paper funded by it on the currently suspended Hyperandrogenism Regulations has been published and it is returning to the CAS before the two-year deadline which ends of July 27.

"Funded by the IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency, the study describes and characterises serum androgen levels and studies their possible influence on athletic performance in both male and female elite athletes. The study analysed 2127 mass spectrometry-measured serum androgen concentrations obtained from elite athletes participating in the 2011 and 2013 IAAF World Championships," the IAAF said in the release.

It said among other things, the study found that in certain events female athletes with high testosterone levels benefit from a 1.8% to 4.5% competitive advantage over female athletes with lower testosterone levels.

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