Indian sextest doubt

The Athletic Federation of India (AFI) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will not confirm it. But sources in the IOA say Soundarajan Santhi, who won silver in the women’s 800 metres at the Asian Games, has failed a gender test at Doha. She is set to be stripped of her medal.

The AFI remains in denial mode. “We have not received any official intimation from either the IOA or the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee, so we will not be able to say anything right now,” said AFI secretary Lalit Bhanot.

It is learnt Santhi could not make it to the Southern Railway team last year following doubts over her gender. Santhi trained under Dr Nikolai, the foreign coach for athletics, in Bangalore.

According to International Olympic Committee rules, an athlete undergoes a gender test only when doubts arise, or someone complains.

NEW DELHI: Santhi Soundarajan, an Indian woman athlete who was found lacking the ‘sexual characteristics of a woman’ during a medical test at the Doha Asian Games, had apparently failed a similar test in India.

DNA learnt on Sunday that the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) had cleared Santhi, despite the findings, to represent the country in the 800m race. She may be stripped of her silver medal.

The sex test Santhi underwent was banned some eight years ago by the International Olympic Committee. But there is a provision to carry out the test in special circumstances — if there are strong grounds for suspecting an athlete, or if a participant country lodges a protest. “Santhi was asked to take the test,” an AFI official said.

An athletics selector said officials knew before the competition that Santhi had been denied a job in the Railways on similar grounds. “But a powerful vice-president of the AFI, who was also on a doping investigation panel in 2005, was trying to help her,” the selector said.

The selector said some officials suspected another woman athlete on the Games squad to have dodgy gender credentials — but she wasn’t caught. This athlete too went on to win a medal.

AFI secretary-general Lalit Bhanot said, “It is a sensitive issue and I can’t react before I receive official intimation.”

she / he has an uncanny likeness to indian test cricketer rahul dravid

you should see her bat

i could say something but i am leaving that go through to the keeper

very wise of you

(all double entendres are, of course, deliberate). :eek:

very wise of you

(all double entendres are, of course, deliberate).

you know i had to look that up, to have any idea what it meant…

see you do learn something new on this site everyday.

how does she get silver if she is a man?

What are you talking about the top female athletes in most sports are superior to most men in the given sport, having or formally having male parts does not make you better then the best females

we are talking athletics… if you have man parts you should run under 2:05 or whatever it ran. i’ve broken 2:10 with no distance background in 1 800m foray.

Nanny, She/he looks nothing like Rahul Dravid.

yea lmao, if your going to compete as a woman atleast win lol!!

You are right, but India is a country where 40 percent of a billion do not have 3 meals a day. A once rich country; India has been robbed and exploited for over 200 years by the British and with just about 60 years of independance and a massive population problems are plenty.

Sports can hardly be a priority. What you are seeing is exploitation of a poor illiterate human being. The parents are labourers who are among the most underprivileged in India. Most people will cheat when it comes to an empty stomach and there are unfortunately exploited by the power centers.

It is unfortunate to see insensitive derogatory comments on this forum about another human being. Everyone has a story so think a little before jumping on their case. What was done is illegal but it is the result of exploitation. Your caustic remarks should be reserved for the officials of the sport in India.

I believe the time was 2:03, which I highly doubt I could run even with some training. Mind you there are certainly physical changes that occur from operation or any other procedure the person may have had done, I do not know the specifics so I cannot comment further, but either way I am sure we are not talking about an elite male athlete here and an average athlete would have a hard time running those times, I remember watching a pro football challenge the one time and the fastest 800 time was 2:15 I believe, now obviously it wasnt a real race situation, but 203 isnt just something you go out and run, and you need to take into consideration the circumstances surounding this, in my opinion for anyone to want to do such a thing there has to be some type of unfortunate situation whether mental, physical, or environmental that would cause someone to do this, so I wouldnt be too tough on this person.

Sex test athlete stripped
From correspondents in New Delhi
December 19, 2006 INDIAN Santhi Soundarajan was on Tuesday officially stripped of her Asian Games silver medal for what the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said was a “Games rule violation”.

Indian officials had said on Monday that Soundarajan, who won the women’s 800m silver at Doha, had failed a gender verification test carried out by the OCA’s medical committee.

The OCA, however, sought to be more discreet and wrote to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) that Soundarajan had been “disqualified as per the recommendations of the medical committee on a Games rule violation”.

Viktoriya Yalovtseva of Kazakhstan, who won the 800m bronze, will now be awarded the silver medal and fourth-placed Zamira Amirova of Uzbekistan the bronze. The event was won by Maryam Jussuf Jamal of Bahrain.

The gender verification test, which is not mandatory but carried out if officials want it or a rival protests, was done soon after Soundarajan finished second on December 9.

She was withdrawn from the 1500m and sent home once the initial report was handed over to Indian Games officials, an Athletics Federation of India (AFI) source had said on Monday.

Even as the OCA discreetly avoided any mention of a failed sex test to prevent embarrassment and mental agony to the athlete, Indian sports officials were not so caring.

Manmohan Singh, who heads the IOA’s medical unit, said on Monday: "Santhi was subjected to a gender test in Doha and we have received the report which says she failed the test.’’

Media reports said the OCA medical panel apparently ordered a gender verification test after a doping control officer reported the athlete.

The panel to decide gender cases usually comprises, among others, a gynaecologist, an endocrinologist, a psychologist and a genetic expert. A range of tests, including a blood test, are carried out.

Athletes who fail gender tests can seek a review by an expert panel after two years following surgery and hormone therapy.

The 25-year-old Soundarajan, whose parents are brick-kiln workers, hails from the village of Kathakkurichi in Pudukkottai district of the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

On Monday, Tamil Nadu state chief minister M. Karunanidhi brushed aside the controversy and presented a cheque of 1.5 million rupees ($33,500) to Soundarajan for her Asiad performance.

"I do not want to talk about it,’’ Soundarajan was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India when reporters at the presentation ceremony questioned her about the failed test.

Soundarajan had cleared the gender test at the Asian track and field championships in the South Korean city of Incheon last year where she won the silver in the 800m.

She also won the gold medal in the 1500m at the South Asian Games in Colombo in August and was declared the best athlete at the Indian national championships in New Delhi in September.

A media report said Soundarajan had been refused employment in the Indian railways last year because its medical panel "was not satisfied about her gender.’’

Chief Minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu Dr. Kalaignar M Karunanidhi (Foreground -R) gestures as he speaks to Asian Games silver medallist Santhi Soundarajan (L) in Chennai, 18 December 2006, after presenting the athlete with a cheque for Rs 1,500,000 (USD 33,517). Asian Games silver medallist Santhi Soundarajan of India has failed a sex test and will be stripped of her medal, officials said.

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Santhi scandal an insult to all Tamils

Chennai, Dec 20: Indian track and field athlete Santhi Soundarajan has been stripped of the Asian Games women’s 800 metres silver medal after failing a gender test in Doha, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said on Tuesday (December 19).

The announcement came a day after Santhi was given Rs. 1.5 million by her home Tamil Nadu state government.

The 25-year-old was asked to undergo a femininity test in the Qatari capital after the December 9 race and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) directed India to return the medal upon the recommendation of its medical committee, an IOA statement said.

Santhi’s disqualification allows third-placed Viktoriya Yalovtseva of Kazakhstan to claim silver and Uzbekistan’s Zamira Amirova to move up from fourth to third. Maryam Jamal of Bahrain won the race.

The Indian media have attacked the National Athletics Federation after it was revealed that Santhi’s application to the state-run railways for a job before the games was turned down because the athlete failed a medical.

The IOA said it would hold an inquiry into the issue, which has caused acute embarrassment to Indian sports officials.

Athletics Federation of India (AFI) secretary Lalit Bhanot said the federation was keen not to cause any distress to the athlete.

Santhi, like many Indian track and field athletics, took up sport to find a secure job and escape grinding poverty.

One of five children of brick-kiln labourers in a rural village in southern Tamil Nadu state, she overcame malnutrition as a child to become a middle-distance runner.

Her family could not even afford a television and watched Santhi’s Doha race at a neighbour’s house.

State sports minister Mohideen Khan said Santhi’s conscience was clear and she did no wrong.

Khan said the reports had saddened and insulted the people of Tamil Nadu.

“Just after Shanti won the medal our Chief Minister announced that she would be awarded 1,500,000 rupees. That was because Shanti has brought a sense of pride to the entire Tamil Nadu state. But, unfortunately, unwarranted criticism is being levelled against the woman, which is an insult to all Tamil people.”

Khan said the government would not take back the cash award because it had been given “on humanitarian grounds”.

Bureau Report

Indian athlete who failed rare gender test may need surgery: doctors
By Channel NewsAsia’s India Correspondent, Vaibhav Varma | Posted: 25 December 2006 0920 hrs

Photos 1 of 1

India’s Santhi Soundarajan

NEW DELHI: The Indian athlete who was stripped of her Asian Games silver medal after failing to clear a gender test is likely to need surgical treatment, say doctors.

Officials and the medical fraternity have, however, absolved Santhi Soundarajan of any deliberate wrongdoing.

Asian Games 800-metre silver medallist Santhi Soundarajan has been charged with failing a gender test - a rare test alleging she was not entirely female.

Back home in India, independent inquiries have been set in motion.

Sports Authorities in India are hesitant to speak up about the Santhi episode until inquiry results are released.

There is a feeling, however, that no one can be held at fault yet - the officials or the athlete herself.

One question raised is whether such a test should be made mandatory in the future.

Officials say there is no reason for Santhi to return the US$33,000 cash award given to her by the Indian government after her return from Doha.

They insist Santhi is not consciously at fault as she had participated in other international events before.

Walson, Joint Secretary, Tamil Nadu Athletic Association, says: “The Sports Development Authority as well as the government has to look into this and defend her. If it is found that the gender test has really failed, then she has to go for a surgery and the government has to come to her rescue for all these things because she’s definitely a good potential for the country.”

The nature of the medical problem remains largely a subject of debate for now.

Doctors at the Sports Authority of India say Santhi could be a victim of congenital hermaphroditic symptoms which she has been diagnosed with before.

Dr. P S M Chandran, Director (Sports Medicine), Sports Authority of India, says: “There are hermaphrodite, pseudo-hermaphrodite and all these groups are there. There are certain syndrome diseases - Turner Syndrome, Klenfelter Syndrome all these. When you examine the chromosome you will find that it doesn’t fit into a ‘pukka’ female or male group. So it is an aberration to the normal picture. So that’s why they call it a syndrome, some type of a medical problem.”

This incident is a tightrope for India which is eager to display keen adherence to rules and checks in the run-up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games that it is hosting.

At the same time, Santhi is a seen as a strong athlete with much potential. - CNA/so