Sprinter Dutee Chand, federation differ over her race category
A difference of opinion between the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and sprinter Dutee Chand — who received a major reprieve from the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) on Monday — might snowball into major controversy.
While the federation is pushing the Odisha sprinter to join the national 4x400m relay camp, Dutee wants to train under personal coach N Ramesh in 100m and 200m.
Though Dutee has plans to train at the US Olympic training centre at Chula Vista, AFI president Adille J Sumariwalla said in a statement on Wednesday that the athlete doesn’t stand a chance in the 100 and 200m. "With only a year to go for the Rio Olympics, experts feel it might be beyond her reach to achieve the Games qualification mark of 11.32sec in the 100m and 23.20sec in the 200m," said Sumariwalla in his statement, hinting that if Dutee doesn’t toe the federation’s line she might face disciplinary action.
Last year in June during the inter-state meet at Lucknow, the AFI had tested Dutee over 400m. She had struggled to clock 54.09sec. This, despite the fact that she was in peak form.
A week later she clocked 23:57sec in 200m at the Asian juniors. The AFI, though, didn’t reveal names of the experts who believe Dutee would be better in 400m. The statement says she will have to train under controversial sprint coach Yuri Ogorodnik.