A DNA test has determined that the Indian middle-distance runner Pinki Pramanik, who won gold in the women's 400m at the Asian Games, is in fact male, police announced Monday. The controversial medical report has led authorities to charge the athlete with rape, impersonation, and cheating.
The runner's live-in partner brought charges in June that Pramanik had been impersonating a woman and had raped her. Pramanik denied the accusations and initially refused to undergo a gender test.
Pramanik's subsequent arrest, imprisonment, and repeated inconclusive gender tests have been criticized as discriminatory. Experts have said that Pramanik could suffer from a condition called Congenital Adrenal Hyperplacia, in which females develop male physical attributes.
Up until 1999, the International Olympic Committee used mandatory DNA testing to determine athletes' gender. Criticism from medical authorities that DNA testing is inconclusive caused the practice to be abandoned. Several high-profile gender disputes prompted IOC officials to return to gender testing before the London Olympic Games by defining normal female hormone thresholds, a measure that has also received widespread criticism from the scientific community.
Via Times of India
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