Track and Field

Medal Revoked After Runner Fails Gender Test

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

An Indian runner who won a silver medal in the women's 800 meters at the Asian Games failed a gender test and was stripped of the medal.

Shanti Soundarajan, 25, took the gender test in Doha, Qatar, after placing second on Dec. 9.

The Indian Olympic Association said yesterday it has been told by the Olympic Council of Asia that the 25-year-old runner was disqualified.

"IOA has asked the Athletic Federation of India to return the medal as desired by the Olympic Council of Asia," the Indian Olympic group said.

The IOA also asked its medical commission to inquire into Soundarajan's case and report within 10 days.

There are no compulsory gender tests during events sanctioned by track and field's international ruling body, but athletes may be asked to take a gender test. The medical evaluation panel usually includes a gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist and internal medicine specialist.

An Indian athletics official who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media said Soundarajan almost certainly never had sex-change surgery.

Instead, the official said Soundarajan appeared to have "abnormal chromosomes." The official also said the test revealed more Y chromosomes than allowed.

Soundarajan was not immediately available for comment.

-- From News Services


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