Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018 | Last Update : 01:07 AM IST

Oh Boy!

THE ASIAN AGE. | BIPIN DANI
Published : Aug 27, 2018, 12:25 am IST
Updated : Aug 27, 2018, 12:25 am IST

A young member of the Indian women’s cricket team has been left out because of her boyish outlook.

Dutee Chand
 Dutee Chand

A promising young player is devastated for not being selected in the Indian women’s cricket team heading to Sri Lanka. The problem is a peculair one — there’s a doubt about her sex. Speaking exclusively to this reporter with a condition not to reveal her name at this point of time, she confirmed, “Yes, I do have problems of hormonal imbalance. Every person has different testosterone levels and in my body the level of male hormones are more. This problem can be found more in athletes and you can very well see the videos of India’s fastest female sprinter Dutee Chand,” she added.

“I did not take any supplement and I am sure with passage of time and proper rest, the levels will settle down automatically,” she said.

“The player does not sound like a normal girl when she speaks,” according to a source. Neither BCCI officials, women selectors nor her team members are willing to come on record to talk about the promising player’s expulsion but murmurs about the reason for her drop-out are doing the rounds. However, the player who bats and bowls and has played few ODIs and T-20s for India is hopeful of her comeback. The said player says she did not undergo any sex change or has no plans to be a man.

The player’s condition is called hyperandrogenism — high natural levels of testosterone in women — which provides extra energy and thereby an added advantage over other athletes. A few have fallen foul of it. India’s 100 metres sprinter Dutee Chand, former middle distance runner Santhi Soundarajan and South African 800 metres world and Olympic champion Caster Semenya, have had a tough time with athletics world governing body International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regarding the same.

After a prolonged legal battle, the IAAF policy on hyperandrogenism was suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in July 2015. The ruling found that there was a lack of evidence provided that testosterone increased female athletic performance and notified the IAAF that it had two years to provide the evidence.

In April this year, the IAAF introduced regulations that required hyperandrogenous athletes to take medication to lower their blood testosterone level to below five nmol/L for a continuous period of at least six months (by use of hormonal contraceptives) effective beginning in November 2018. The rules limit the testosterone levels of female athletes competing over distances between 400m and 1600m.

Unfair sex?
Dutee Chand

The Indian sprinter was dropped from the 2014 Commonwealth Games contingent at the last minute after the Athletic Federation of India stated that hyperandrogenism made her ineligible to compete as a female athlete. The decision was made in compliance with International Olympic Committee regulations on “female hyperandrogenism.” Dutee had to go through a prolonged legal battle in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland to overturn the ruling.

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