CHENNAI: Dutee Chand, the upcoming sprinter who was excluded from the national squad for the Commonwealth Games for ‘hyperandrogenism’, has finally found help coming her way.
The Sports Authority of India has written to the Ministry of Sports, seeking permission to argue her case before the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) so that the temporary ban imposed on Dutee by the Athletic Federation of India (AFI) could be revoked.
The federation had issued the athlete a letter on August 20 that mentioned she had been provisionally prevented from taking part in any competition ( national/international).
The letter, a copy of which is with TNIE, also said “to be eligible for participation, you are further advised to follow the annexed IAAF guidelines”.
As per IAAF laws, an athlete who has been found with excess level of androgen (male hormone), has to either seek treatment to bring down the hormone level or prove before the international body that she has androgen levels within the normal male range, but has such an androgen resistance that she derives no competitive advantage from having excess androgen levels. It is learnt the SAI has decided to take the second option so that the athlete doesn’t miss too many competitions.
Revealing the decision, SAI DG Jiji Thomson told TNIE they would argue before the medical department of the IAAF that Dutee doesn’t derive competitive advantage from excess androgen. “We are going for the second option because the first option is not viable. If she is subjected to treatment, then she has to stay away from the sport for at least two years. If during the course of treatment surgery is required, then it would further complicate things. Even if she comes back, there won’t be any guarantee that she can repeat her timings and performances,” he added. It is reliably learnt that the athlete herself had asked SAI to navigate the second option as she ‘doesn’t want to start training from scratch again’.
SAI sources said the organisation was ready to start the treatment of the athlete but she didn’t want that. “We had offered to treat her at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences or in some other foreign centre. But she declined,” revealed a source.
Dutee, who was in Chennai for the Railway Athletic Meet, hopes she can return in six to eight months. “I can comeback in time. Though I have to wait for another four years for the Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games, I am thinking positive. I want to run again,” said the athlete, who was barred from competing in the event on AFI instruction.
Meanwhile, SAI has sent another missive granting Dutee permission to re-join the national camp in Patiala. She has been given admission under the Centre of Excellence Scheme. The athlete said she will join the camp before September 20.