India sprinter Dutee Chand faces fresh test, IAAF to challenge 2015 CAS ruling

Top Indian sprinter Dutee Chand’s reprieve by Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2015 after suspension for hyperandrogenism will be challenged by the International Association of Athletics Federations with new evidence from a study.

other sports Updated: Jul 04, 2017 22:06 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Bhubaneswar
Dutee Chand,IAAF,CAS
Dutee Chand returned to international athletics competition after being suspended for two years due to a condition of hyperandrogenism.(Hindustan Times)

India’s Dutee Chand faces fresh uncertainty in her athletics career after the world athletics body said on Tuesday it will challenge a two-year-old order on hyperandrogenism that allowed the sprinter to return to international competition.

The diminutive runner from Orissa was suspended over hyperandrogenism, a condition the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) argued give her an advantage over other women rivals on the track.

However, Dutee Chand approached the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which in an interim verdict in July, 2015 suspended the IAAF’s hyperandrogenism regulations for two years, allowing Dutee to compete again.

IAAF’s fresh research

The IAAF, in a statement, said a new research funded by it and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine provides fresh evidence to back its claim “as to the degree of performance advantage hyperandrogenic female athletes have over athletes with normal testosterone levels.”

“The article “Serum androgen levels and their relation to performance in track and field: mass spectrometry results from 2127 observations in male and female elite athletes”, is part of the evidence the IAAF is preparing for its return to CAS,” the statement added.

  • Hyperandrogenism is a medical condition characterised by excessive levels of androgens (like male sex hormone testosterone) in the female body
  • IAAF study reveals that in certain events female athletes with high testosterone levels benefit from a 1.8% to 4.5% competitive advantage over female athletes with lower testosterone levels
  • IAAF has stated from the start that they intend to defend, protect and promote fair female competition

The authors, Dr Stéphane Bermon and Dr Pierre-Yves Garnier, submitted the study for scientific peer review before the article and related research was published, it said. Dr Bermon has been a member of the IAAF and IOC working groups on hyperandrogenic female athletes and transgender athletes while Dr Garnier is the director of the IAAF Health and Science Department.

“Funded by the IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency, the study describes and characterises serum androgen levels and studies their possible influence on athletic performance in both male and female elite athletes,” the IAAF statement adds.

Coe on Dutee

The IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, in Bhubaneswar for the Asian meet starting on Thursday, spoke to the media about the development, but did not say when the world body would appeal.

‘’We are not against anyone, but we have to defend the basic principle of female sport. There has to be level-playing field,’ said the former double 1,500m Olympic champion. “None of the athletes preparing for the world championships will be effected by the development,” he said.

Dutee stays calm

Dutee, however, didn’t appear to be flustered as she trained in Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday. “I am focused to race hard on the newly built track. The weather has been good in the evening and I should be able to clock a good time,” she told HT. The Continental meet starts on Thursday (July 6).

Dutee arrived at the stadium at around 3pm but started her workouts only two hours later. “My main aim is to achieve the entry standard of 11.26 secs for the (London) world championships in August,” she said.

Her coach N Ramesh was reluctant to speak on the issue, only saying that the Canadian legal team that had represented Dutee in CAS two years ago will once again handle the case. “My job is to train the athlete. She is doing her normal training,” Ramesh said.

First Published: Jul 04, 2017 22:00 IST