Relief for Dutee Chand, IAAF's new 'gender' policy will not cover her
The new rules will require athletes to reduce their blood testosterone levels if they want to compete internationally.
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) Sprinter Dutee Chand will be a relieved person after four years of ordeal as she no longer falls in the purview of the new rules announced today by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) pertaining to female athletes who have high testosterone levels.
The new rules, which the IAAF put under the heading 'Difference of Sexual Development' (DSD), will require athletes such as South Africa's Olympic and world champion 800m runner Caster Semenya to reduce their blood testosterone levels if they want to compete internationally.
Dutee competes in 100m and 200m while the new rules cover races from 400m to the mile, including 400m, hurdles races, 800m, 1500m, one-mile races and combined events over the same distances.
These new regulations, approved by the IAAF Council in March, will come into effect from November 1 and replace the previous Regulations Governing Eligibility of Females with Hyperandrogenism to Compete in Women's Competition, which no longer apply anywhere in the sport, the IAAF said in a statement.
Testosterones are male sex hormone but they are also in a woman's ovaries in small amounts. Those women athletes who naturally produce these testosterones above a permissible limit are not allowed to compete in competitions meant for females.
Dutee had fought a lone battle when she challenged the Hyperandrogenism Regulations of the IAAF at the Court of Arbitration for Sports in 2015 and won it. The CAS suspended the Hyperandrogenism Regulations for two years and asked the IAAF to furnish evidence in support of its policy.
The IAAF is expected to present these new regulations to the CAS.
"This verdict is a result of my continuous fight. I am now releived from the uncertainity of competing in my most loved events. I am free to compete at any level now," an esctatic Dutee said.
IAAF Council member and Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwalla expressed happiness at the development.
"I am very happy for Dutee. These new regulations will not affect her now unless she runs 400m. She runs in 100m and 200m and we don't want her to run in 400m. These new regulations will replace the earlier Hyperandrogenism Regulations," Sumirawalla told PTI.
"I am also happy for other international athletes who may have missed a medal in the past because of the participation of athletes (who have higher levels of testosterone). It will be a level playing field. These athletes who have higher levels of testosterone are less than 10 per cent of all the athletes. The IAAF Council has taken a decision after days, not hours, of discussion taking into account several aspects of the complicated issue," he added.
Asked if the case of Dutee at the CAS will be disposed off after these new rules, he said, "I have no idea but these new rules will now be prevalent.
"Not only Dutee, other Indian athletes may benefit. Say for example, Tintu Luka is our top 800m runner and she may benefit," Sumariwalla said, obiquely referring to South Africa's Caster Semenya.
Dutee's ordeal began in 2014 when she was stopped from taking part in the Galsgow Commonwealth Games after she failed a 'gender test'. After that, she filed a case at the CAS and won in 2015 which allowed her to take part in the Asian Championships and Rio Olympics but the thought that she might be declared ineligible to compete had remained lingered on her mind.
"Dutee is very happy at the development. She has suffered a lot. We have to see what happens of the case at the CAS," her coach N Ramesh said from Hyderabad where she is currently training