Monday, December 18, 2006

File This Under "Weird"

Report: Indian 800-meter medalist fails gender test


NEW DELHI, India -- An Indian runner who won a silver medal in the women's 800 meters in the Asian Games this month has failed a gender test and is expected to be stripped of the medal, according to reports Monday.

Santhi Soudarajan took the gender test in Doha, Qatar, after the victory.

The test reports sent to the Indian Olympic Association on Sunday said Soudarajan "does not possess the sexual characteristics of a woman," The Times of India reported. The test was administered by a medical commission set up by the games' organizers.

There are no compulsory gender tests during events sanctioned by the International Association of Athletics Federation, but athletes can be asked to take a gender test. The medical evaluation panel usually includes a gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist, and an internal medicine specialist.

Dr. Manmohan Singh, chairman of the medical commission of the Indian Olympic Association told the Indian Express newspaper that the Olympic Council of Asia had been informed of the results of Soudarajan's gender test.

Sports officials in the athlete's home state of Tamil Nadu said that they have no information on her whereabouts.

"If the reports are true, then it is very sad and extremely disappointing," her coach, P. Nagarajan, told the Indian Express.

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