NEW DELHI: Barred from sprinting after having been found to be characterized with “hyper-masculinity”, Dutee Chand has now been allowed to compete in the games again by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), the highest court for sports related disputes.

The 19 year old sprinter, who hails from Orissa, had been disallowed from competing since last May as she had found to be carrying more testosterone level in her blood than what’s allowed, as per International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). According to the current verdict by CAS, the rules for ‘hyperandrogenism’ stand annul for two years, and IAAF has been asked to come up with surer scientific proofs regarding the validity of such rules and the precise degree of advantage which a hyperandrogenic athlete may have over others, failing which the rule will be scrapped.

“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued an Interim Award in the arbitration procedure between the Indian athlete Dutee Chand, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF,” the statement from CAS said.

“The CAS Panel in charge of the procedure (The Hon. Justice Annabelle Claire Bennett AO, Australia (President), Prof. Richard H. McLaren, Canada, and Dr Hans Nater, Switzerland) has suspended the “IAAF Regulation Governing Eligibility of Females with Hyperandrogenism to Compete in Women’s Competition” (the “Hyperandrogenism Regulations”) for a maximum period of two years in order to give the IAAF the opportunity to provide the CAS with scientific evidence about the quantitative relationship between enhanced testosterone levels and improved athletic performance in hyperandrogenic athletes. In the absence of such evidence, the CAS Panel was unable to conclude that hyperandrogenic female athletes may benefit from such a significant performance advantage that it is necessary to exclude them from competing in the female category,” it further opined.

The crucial judgment means reprieve for many other athletes who may happen to be characterized with the same hormonal condition as Chand. However, this is not the first time an athlete had been pulled out of sport as a result of a “gender-test”. In year 2009 South African sprinter Caster Semenya too had been subjected to the same procedure when she had seen to be improving her own 1500m and 800m best by 25 seconds and 8 seconds respectively. She returned to game in 2012 finally after the scandal to win a Silver at London Olympics.

Katrina Karkazis of Centre for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford University, who helped argue Chand’s case, said to New York Times, ““I am shocked and heartened by CAS’s decision. I didn’t think it was our time. Dutee has made history with her courageous decision to challenge a policy she felt was unfair to her and to all women athletes. It’s a victory for women’s equality in sport. And I’m thrilled she can just now run.”

Chand, who has a long list of national and international awards, is a second year law student at KIIT University Bhubaneswar, and works as a Ticket Collector in Central railway in Mumbai.