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Panel to inquire into the Santhi issue

Soon after the Asian games ended, reports came about Shanti failing a gender test. Her medal will be taken back.

india Updated: Dec 18, 2006 21:16 IST

The Indian Athletics Federation (AFI) will set up a panel, possibly of medical experts, to inquire into the issue of woman athlete S Santhi's gender controversy, AFI secretary Lalit Bhanot said on Monday.

Santhi won the silver medal in the women's 800 metres at the Asian Games in Doha. But soon after the games ended on Friday, reports came about her failing a gender test. The organisers would be taking her medal back.

"Yes, her medal is being returned. She has failed the gender test in Doha on a technicality," Bhanot said. "We will now inquire into the matter."

Asked if the panel would consist of doctors, he said: "We will see."

Bhanot, however, did not give a convincing reply when asked how could she compete within the country for the last few years if there was any doubt about her gender.

"It is not in our jurisdiction. You and I can't determine about her gender," he said.

"The only thing we can now do is to stop her from competing in future competitions. And AFI will not be presenting any awards to her."

Reports said that Santhi was withdrawn from another race after a competitor complained about her gender to the organisers, the Olympic Council of Asia.

Bhanot confirmed that a fellow competitor of Santhi had lodged the complaint.

After she failed the gender test, Santhi was sent back to India before the rest of the contingent returned.

First Published: Dec 18, 2006 21:16 IST