Nandini Agasara Reponds To Swapna Barman's 'Transgender' Allegations

At the ongoing Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, Indian athlete Swapna Barman sparked a controversy after she alleged that Nandini Agasara is a 'transgender,' and won her medal wrongfully

Nikita Gupta
New Update
nandini agasara.jpeg

Nandini Agasara won bronze at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Image Credits: India Today.

At the ongoing Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, Indian athlete Nandini Agasara clinched the bronze medal in the women's Heptathlon 800m event on October 1.


But not long after, a controversy was sparked by her fellow teammate Swapna Barman who took to X, formerly Twitter and alleged that 'She lost her medal to a transgender.'

What Was Barman's Tweet?

In her inaugural Asian Games appearance, the 20-year-old Agasara secured the third position in the heptathlon event, accumulating a total of 5712 points. On the other hand, Barman by a mere four-point difference, finished in fourth place, amassing a total of 5708 points.

After which this is what Barman wrote word-to-word on X:

"I have lost my Asian Games bronze medal to a transgender woman at the 19th Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China. I want my medal back as it is against the rules of our Athletics. Help me and support me please."

Barman Tweet.jpeg


Barman in an interview with The Bridge said, "Athletes who identify as transgender and have testosterone levels exceeding 2.5 are ineligible to participate in events exceeding 200 meters. It is implausible for any female athlete to excel in a heptathlon event at such a rapid pace. I have dedicated 13 years to my training in this discipline, and it appears inconceivable that someone could attain this level of performance after just four months of training."

Agasara's Response

Agasara soon after that in her statement hit back at Barman. She said and I quote, "I am confident in my identity. She should provide evidence. I can also demonstrate my accomplishments in representing India and my dedication to serving the country. My primary goal is to contribute positively to our nation. It's only now, after our victory, that people are raising this issue."

Asking the highest authority to interfere in the matter, Barman said, "I intend to address the matter with the Athletics Federation of India (AFI). Although I had hoped to savour the joy of winning the medal, I must return to India due to my mother's illness."

Women Heptathlon Event: Rules & Wins

The heptathlon is a multi-event track and field competition specifically designed for women. It consists of seven different events, and athletes earn points based on their performance in each event. The heptathlon events are typically held over two days, with four events on the first day and three events on the second day. Seven distinct events are 200-meter and 800-meter sprints, 100-meter hurdle races, both high and long jumps, and competitions involving throwing weights and javelins.


According to World Athletics, for anyone to qualify as a woman to participate in the events, they should fulfil the following criteria:

(a) She must receive legal recognition as either a female or an intersex individual (or equivalent).

(b) She must lower her blood testosterone level to less than five (5) nmol/L for a consistent duration of at least six months (for example, through the use of hormonal contraceptives).

(c) Afterward, she must consistently maintain her blood testosterone level below five (5) nmol/L, regardless of whether she is in competition or not, for as long as she intends to retain her eligibility.

And in the scenarios where female athletes who choose not to reduce their testosterone levels are still eligible to compete in the following categories:

(a) In the female classification:


(i) at non-International Competitions, encompassing all Track Events, Field Events, Combined Events, including the Restricted Events

(ii) at International Competitions, participating in all Track Events, Field Events, and Combined Events except the Restricted Events

(b) In the male classification, at all competitions (regardless of whether they are International Competitions or not), in all Track Events, Field Events, and Combined Events, including the Restricted Events

(c) In any applicable intersex or equivalent classification that might be available, at all competitions (regardless of whether they are International Competitions or not), in all Track Events, Field Events, and Combined Events, including the Restricted Events.

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Swapna Barman Asian Games 2023 Nandini Agasara