Sprinter Fights for her Identity
NEW DELHI: Her sprinting hopes dashed against the wall after she was banned from competing for an indefinite period last year. But now Dutee Chand, the bronze winner in 2013 Asian Games, has approached the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to appeal against the decree.
The 19 year old had been debarred from any professional competition since last summer , after a hormone test revealed her to be carrying more than normal levels of testosterone stipulated as per International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
She refused to go under medical treatment which would have made her eligible to compete.
The case filed by her legal team against IAAF and Athletics Federation of India started on Monday at CAS in Lausanne, Switzerland , and may take months to reach its conclusions .
The ban had forced Dutee to sit out the Asian Games and Commonwealth games last year, eclipsing an otherwise bright career.
There are no analogous rules for 'hyper androgyny' for men. Moreover, there hadn't been any rules until very recently in the same regard for women either. By then Caster Semenya Happened.
In 2009,Caster Semenya, South African athlete was found to be characterised by same condition as Chands . The muscular teenager had broken the South African record in 800 m just a year before that. After a gender test and sever media scrutiny throughout the process , she back to the racing track in 2010 and won silver in world events, only this time she didn't run as fast , as her best years were behind her .
There are many critics of the gender test rule which they find is inaccurate and unscientific
David Epstein , an award winning writer for the magazine Sports Illustrated and who's more known for his book 'Sports Gene', in an interview to BBC last year said 'biological sex is not binary. That means whichever line you draw between me. And women is going to be arbitrary .'
The threshold set by IAAF is testosterone level of 10 nanomoles per 1 litre of blood, which has been called an 'idiotic rule’ and 'unfair and unscientific’ by Peter Sonksen, a professor of endocrinology (study of hormones) , the one whose research done for IOC is responsible for the anti-doping test for human growth hormone .
According to the same news published in BBC last year, his research had been completely misunderstood and it instead entailed , "that the 10 nmol/L threshold is that the research he did for his HGH study found 16% of make athletes had lower than expected testosterone , whereas 13% of his females athletes had high level testosterone ... In other words, the gap that exists for testosterone between men and women in general population does not exist among elite athletes."
There are studies recently published which challenge the strict black and white idea of sexuality rather it is something which should be understood as a continuum determined by various factors , besides testosterone .