One of India’s top sprinters has been banned from competing in the Commonwealth Games because she has too many male hormones.
While Dutee Chand’s gender identity is not in question, she has too much male testosterone in her body to make it fair for her to compete against other women, sports bosses have claimed.
The ban on her attending the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next week will be a massive blow for Chand who is the current 100 meter women’s champion in India.
The Sports Authority of India said in a press release: ‘Preliminary investigations indicate that the athlete is not fit for participation in a female event due to female hyperandrogenism.
‘The athlete will still be able to compete in the female category in future if she takes proper medical help and lowers her androgen level to the specified range.
‘We reiterate that these test results do not determine her gender. The test simply tells us that she has excess androgen in her body and is therefore not eligible to compete in the female category.’
But while Chand’s medical situation should remain private, it has raised the issue of the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and others banning intersex athletes.
Intersex individuals have male and female characteristics to such a degree they can’t be distinctly defined as one gender. Hyperandrogenism can be caused by an intersex variation, although it is not known if that is the case with Dutee.
The outright ban on intersex competitors is one of the most overt forms of discrimination in sport.
Trans Media Watch in the UK said: ‘Ms Chand grew up as a girl and remains a woman. There is no possibility that she could ‘really’ be a man and suggestions along these lines are likely to cause acute distress.
‘Ms Chand has just lost one of the most exciting opportunities in her career. She is facing an uncertain future.’