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Advantage Dutee Chand as CAS suspends world athletics body’s gender policy

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has suspended the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regulations for six months, allowing the Indian sprinter to compete without any tension.

other sports Updated: Jan 19, 2018 23:04 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Dutee Chand,International Association of Athletics Federations,Court of Arbitration for Sports
Dutee Chand’s career hit a roadblock after she was banned in 2014 on the basis of IAAF’s hyperandrogenism policy.(HT Sports)

Indian sprinter Dutee Chand has got a major relief ahead of the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships, to be held in Iran early next month. The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland has suspended the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) hyperandrogenism regulations for six months.

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The CAS announced the decision in a statement on Friday, which allows Dutee to compete in the upcoming major competitions, including the April Commonwealth Games in Australia and the August-September Asian Games in Jakarta without tension. Her participation would depend on her qualifying for the two Games.

Dutee is in India’s 13-member squad for the continental indoor meet, to be held in Teheran from February 1. She will compete in the 60m.

The announcement by CAS on Friday comes as a boost to Dutee Chand in her legal battle since 2014 to get the world athletics body’s regulations on hyperandrogenism overturned.

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The CAS has now given IAAF six months to advise how it planned to implement its regulations in future. If IAAF sticks to its current policy, the hearing would continue before the same CAS arbitration panel. The proceedings will be terminated if the IAAF withdraws its present regulations or replaces it with fresh rules.

The latest development shows IAAF’s regulations are weak and may not stand scrutiny of the Lausanne body.

N Ramesh, Dutee’s coach based in Hyderabad, said: “It is a big boost for us before the Teheran meet and for this international season.”

The hyperandrogenism case has been going on since Dutee approached CAS In 2014. Her career hit a roadblock after she was banned that year on the basis of IAAF’s hyperandrogenism policy and she was withdrawn from the 2014 Glasgow CWG.

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The sprinter’s condition results in her body naturally producing male harmone testosterone at more than permissible levels. Dutee challenged the policy, arguing she did not gain any advantage due to her condition.

CAS ruled in her favour in 2015, allowing her to compete.

With the CAS ruling, the policy was suspended for two years and the world body was asked to file fresh evidence. It submitted it in September, giving results of its study as well as draft revised regulations that would apply for runners from 400m to the mile.

Dutee made a fresh submission in October arguing that the IAAF had not complied with the interim CAS ruling but submitted a draft of fresh regulations. She argued the hyperandrogenism regulations should hence be declared invalid.

After the latest CAS order, if the IAAF does not withdraw its present regulations, hearing will continue before the panel hearing the case. If IAAF decides to replace the current rules, then the present regulations will automatically become void.

First Published: Jan 19, 2018 20:54 IST