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Ban left me paranoid: Dutee Chand

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : May 12, 2016, 6:28 am IST
Updated : May 12, 2016, 6:28 am IST

At a time her fellow runners were toiling at a national camp for the Rio Olympics at NIS Patiala, sprinter Dutee Chand was training alone in faraway Hyderabad.

At a time her fellow runners were toiling at a national camp for the Rio Olympics at NIS Patiala, sprinter Dutee Chand was training alone in faraway Hyderabad.

It wasn’t difficult to understand why Chand preferred solitude since returning to competition following her win in a landmark “gender” case against the international athletics body (IAAF) at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne last year.

Her life changed following the controversy, but it left her “paranoid” about staying at the national camp and interacting with fellow runners as she feared it might lead her into trouble again.

“I am not able to trust anyone in the camp now. I am scared that I might get trapped again. I hardly have any friends. That’s why I preferred to stay and train alone at the SAI camp in Hyderabad.

“Some of the 4x400 relay members don’t like me as I had better timings than them. But M.R. Poovamma didi is in touch with me,” Chand said at an interaction here on Wednesday.

Dutee was indefinitelybanned by the IAAF for suspected hyperandrogenism (questioning her gender) in 2014 — and subsequently dropped from the 2014 Commonwealth Games squad — but returned with a bang last year, breaking the national record (11.33secs) in the 100m dash.

The setback apart, Dutee said the ban had made her stronger.

During this phase away from competition, she also found a new love in the 60-metre dash, where she recently claimed a bronze at the Asian level. In the hests,, she also set a national record in the eventclocking 7.28 seconds. “It was the most difficult phase of my life. I didn’t know what to do. I had no place to train but then my coach N. Ramesh (since 2012) helped me continue training and arranged for my accommodation at the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad,” said Chand, who broke the 16-year-old national record at the Federation Cup in New Delhi last month, but missed out on the Rio Olympics qualification mark by one-hundredth of a seconds (11.32s).

“I think that time motivated me to compete in 100m. I focused more on my physical strength and endurance and it’s paying off now,” said Chand, who will travel to China on Sunday for the IAAF World Challenge in Beijing next week followed by two more events.

She, however, lamented lack of foreign exposure, which would have helped her prepare better for Rio.

“There’s a lack of good runners here who can challenge me with a timing of 11.20 or 11.10 secs. I hope in China, I will be able to better my timing.

“Following the controversy, the federation doesn’t trust me. So I am left with no other option than to train here. I am looking to attain it (10.99s) in China and qualify.,” she added.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi