Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Indian medalist fails gender test

Indian woman athlete Santhi Soundarajan, who bagged silver medal in the 800m race in Doha Asian Games has failed a gender test.

Reports said that Shanthi was picked up for a 'test' at the Games, after a fellow athlete 'doubted her of being a woman' and lodged a complaint.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has decided to withdraw the medal from the Indian athlete causing embarrasment and gloom to the Indian athletics.

Santhi's failing the gender test came close on the heels of Doha-bound discus thrower Seema Antil reportedly testing positive in a dope test at a preparatory camp in Muscat a few days before the Asian Games.

The Tamil Nadu athlete had earlier competed and won the silver in the 800 metres in the Asian championships in Incheon, Korea, last year. In August this year, she also won the 1500m gold and the 800m silver in the South Asian Games in Colombo.

This is a sad ending for Shanthi's Doha games. Sportspersons are not subjected to gender verification tests before participation in major international competitions. In order to avoid this type of embarrasing and controversial decisions, sports organisations should do such tests upfront before athletes are allowed to participate in games.

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