In a disgusting new development, the International Athletics Association (IAAF) has decided to re-open athlete Dutee Chand’s gender testing case, in light of “new evidence” against her. According to a report, the evidence is sourced from a self-funded study paper by the IAAF. We’ve written before how sprinter Dutee Chand changed the world of sports. But we’d like sports authorities to change a giant mountain load more and stop obsessing over Dutee Chand’s gender. Just stop.
In 2015, Chand had challenged a ban imposed on her by the Athletic Federation of India (AFI) against competing international sports. She was suspected to be hyperandrogenous (presence of testosterone at a level higher than accepted in female athlete). But due to inconclusive evidence, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) lifted the ban. Ever since, Chand has gone on to secure multiple accommodates, the latest being the bronze medal she has won in the 100m race in Asian Athletics Championships on 7 July. Before we get a chance to celebrate, here come the gender-suspicious. Again.
The official IAAF statement states, “Funded by the IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency, the study describes and characterises serum androgen levels and studies their possible influence on athletic performance in both male and female elite athletes. The study analysed 2127 mass spectrometry-measured serum androgen concentrations obtained from elite athletes participating in the 2011 and 2013 IAAF World Championships.”
The study was published by Dr Stephane Bermon, a member of the IAAF and IOC working groups on hyperandrogenic female athletes and transgender athletes, and Dr Pierre-Yves Garnier, Director of the IAAF Health and Science Department, in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The statement further adds that the study has analysed 2127 mass spectrometry-measured serum androgen concentrations obtained from athletes participating in the 2011 and 2013 IAAF World Championships. It also states that the CAS proceedings will have no impact on the IAAF World Championships which will be held in London this August.
Gender testing has long since been contested to be highly misogynistic and the IAAF has had a notorious history with it. Athletes Santi Soundarajan and internationally, Caster Semenya have struggled with the implications of it. As though fighting infrastructural and monetary obstacles is not enough, it’s ridiculous that female athletes are subjected to such sexist practices. It’s time IAAF leaves Dutee Chand and the likes of her alone, so they could do what they do best – win.