India's Dutee Chand Starts Appeal Against 'Gender Test' Ban

23/03/2015 9:41 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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In this Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 photo, Indian athlete Dutee Chand poses for the camera in Mumbai, India. The 18-year-old has now decided to fight the ban for 'hyperandrogenism' or the presence of high levels of testosterone in the body that makes the sprinter ineligible to compete according to International Association of Athletics Federation rules. Chand won two gold medals at the Asian junior track and field championship. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

LAUSANNE — The Court of Arbitration for Sports today began hearing the appeal filed by promising Indian athlete Dutee Chand against the IAAF's hyperandrogenism policy, which bars female athletes having higher level of male hormones from competitions.

The 19-year-old Chand was disqualified from competitions last year by the Athletics Federation of India as per IAAF's hyperandrogenism policy after tests revealed that her body produced natural levels of testosterone above permissible range. Her case has got international attention, with media in the United States and Britain covering her appeal.

She has a condition called hyperandrogenism and her body produces natural levels of testosterone so high that they place her in the male range in the eyes of international track and field. Her legal team will argue the ruling is discriminatory and flawed. The landmark case against the IAAF and Athletics Federation of India started today and is expected to last up to four days.

The CAS listed the appeal on its website to be heard from March 23-26 and reports said that a final decision may take time to come. "A final judgement could take weeks or even months," a report at BBC Sport said. CAS hearings are not open to public.

Chand had won the 100 meters and 200 meters sprint double at Asian Junior Athletics Championships, prompting the Athletics Federation of India to ask for a gender test in July.

At the CAS hearing, Dutee's counsels include some well known international experts like James Bunting and former Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court Morris Fish. Dr Payoshni Mitra, a research consultant on gender and sports issues, who has been working with Dutee, is also with Dutee here. The Sports Ministry is bearing the cost of Dutee's legal battle at the CAS.

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