Indian Sprinter Dutee Chand, gets her dignity back after failing gender test, will compete in 2016 Olympics

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After Santhi Soundararajan, who was stripped off her medals and prestige when she failed the gender verification test in 2006 Asian games, it was the turn of Dutee Chand to go through the same fate and be barred to compete nationally or internationally. However, Chand made it a point to fight against the atrocious behaviour of Athletic Federation of India in ruling her ineligible to participate owing to her ‘abnormal’ bodily condition.


Chand was found having a peculiar condition of Hyperandrogenism. In simpler terms, Chand’s body produces testosterones at such high level that it is assumed to be a male athletics body. She has been in the news since then for fighting against the injustice which deterred her from participating in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.


Chand was only 17 when she became the top sprinter in the country winning 100m at the Ranchi Senior National games. In a short span of time, Chand won many games including a 200m doubles at the nationals, a bronze medal in the 2013 Asian games. She became the first woman to represent India in the finals of a 100m sprint in a world event. She was emerging as a shining start in the sporting fraternity and making the country proud around the world. Her potential brought her recognition and so much faith that Jiji Thompson, director general of the Sports Authority of India, called her a “sure shot Olympics medallist” in the making.


Chand put up a strong argument in front of the Court of Arbitration of Sports which said that Chand didn’t take any drugs to fall into the disease and it is her natural condition which has been there since her birth. Her strength and courage did not go unnoticed and bearing fruit now as on Monday, in a landmark judgment, the Court of Arbitration of Sports ruled in her favour freeing females with this condition to participate in any games. It also suspended the regulation on her condition for two years, since it hasn’t yet been scientifically proved that her androgynous condition is anywhere linked with her improved performance in sports.


Chand, who had missed out on the Asian games and the Commonwealth games due to her suspension, has been the first female athlete to question the authorities and ask for what is rightfully hers- dignity to live as a woman. She was asked to go for corrective measures namely some genital surgeries etc to get rid of her condition but Chand remained unhinged and kept an I-am-who-I-am attitude. Now, Chand, who hails from Odisha, will be gearing up for the most prestigious sport event in the world, Olympics, which is going to be held in Rio in 2016. She will be running as a woman after the court’s ruling. A story of bravery is the story of Dutee Chand’s.


Picture Credit- The Hindu

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