Dutee Chand

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Dutee Chand

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Contents

Personal life

A brief biography

Dhrubo Jyoti, Dhamini Ratnam | Being woman enough: How two Indian athletes have been marked by sex testing | Jul 01, 2018 | Hindustan Times

Born in February, 1996, in Odisha’s Jajpur districtChand shoots into the limelight after clocking 11.8 seconds at a 100m sprint at the Under-18 National Youth junior athletics championship in Bengaluru in 2012In 2013, she wins a bronze medal at the Asian Athletics Championships in PuneThe same year, she becomes the first Indian to reach a global sprint final at the World Youth championships in Ukraine, where she clocks a time of 11.62 seconds and comes sixthIn 2014, she wins the Asian U20 Championships in the 200m raceThe same year, she goes to the Bengaluru camp and is dropped from the squad a day before the contingent leaves for the Commonwealth Games after a medical test finds high levels of testosterone in her body

Dutee’s gender

2014: dropped because of questions about her gender

Dhrubo Jyoti, Dhamini Ratnam | Being woman enough: How two Indian athletes have been marked by sex testing | Jul 01, 2018 | Hindustan Times


Who is a woman and why she should be tested are among the oldest and the prickliest, questions in athletics

“There is a saying in my village [and in most of North India], ‘Khana khao khud ke mann se, aur kapda pehno doosre ke mann se’ (Eat what you like, wear what others like). No one can force you to eat, but if you don’t want to feel bad about what others say, wear what they want you to wear,” 22-year-old Odia sprinter Dutee Chand says.

She has been up since 5.3 0am, training at the mud tracks at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) facility in Hyderabad’s Gachibowli. When asked if Chand herself follows this dictum, she smiles. “Not really,” she replies.

Chand shot into limelight between 2012 and 2014, when at just 18, she became India’s best bet for an Olympics medal. But hours before the Indian contingent was to leave for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, she was dropped, because a complex maze of medical tests found high levels of testosterone in her body, referred to then as hyperandrogenism.

“I was not told by anyone, not even the doctor from SAI who conducted several tests on me, what they were for. I was confused. The papers were calling me a man. How does one turn into a man overnight?” says Chand.

The rules (as in 2018, July), and Dutee

A controversial yet obscure rule of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the governing body for world athletics, capped naturally occurring free testosterone level at 10 nanomoles per litre, about three times the typical female range, according to the body. Anything above that gave the athlete an unfair advantage, the IAAF reasoned, and offered two options: Retirement, or medical intervention.

Chand stunned the sporting world by doing neither. Instead, she challenged the rules at the Centre for Arbitration of Sport (CAS), an international tribunal in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In 2015, CAS suspended the rule for two years and asked the IAAF to commission studies proving a causal link between higher testosterone level and increased performance on track. In April [2018], based on a study funded by the IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the Federation clamped testosterone quotas, which now stand at five nanomoles per litre, for events from 400 metres to the mile. The new IAAF rules titled, “Eligibility Regulations for the Female Classification (Athletes with Differences of Sex Development)” will come into effect in November 2018.

Chand competes in the 100m and 200m categories, and just like that, she had won. But the impact of her harrowing experience lingers, one that is echoed by countless women athletes across the world who struggle against arbitrary testing shrouded in secrecy.

“I felt like an alien. Everyone disliked me: some called me a girl, some called me a man, some called me both. Other than my family, I felt that no one liked me. Even in my village, people would stop on the road and point at me. They’d ask me, is it true what we heard in the news? I’d tell them believe what you see with your own eyes,” says Chand of the time when news of her high levels of testosterone broke.

NEW RULES, OLD PROBLEMS

Who is a woman and why she should be tested is among the oldest, and the prickliest, question in athletics. Biological sex remains a means to distinguish between sportsmen and sportswomen but the seemingly obvious distinction is a messy minefield of biology, determinism and fast-changing notions of what it means to test gender.

Chand, who grew up in a small village in Odisha’s Jajpur district and started to run at the age of four on dirt tracks running along the local Brahmani river, says that the gender testing experience devastated her.

Chand says that the scrutiny about her gender also came at a time when she a teenager. “At the age when you mature, start feeling love and attraction, that’s the time when the whole issue broke out. The whole world began to question who I am. Which boy will approach me after all this?” She has a special friend, she admits. But she’s also cautious about saying more. “He’s told me that he’ll stay with for the rest of my life,” she says, breaking into a smile.


Payoshni Mitra, an athletes’ rights activist and Research Consultant, reached out to Chand soon after she was disqualified. It was vital, Mitra felt, that Chand did not feel compelled to quit or take medical steps. There was a third option and this was to appeal to the CAS. Mitra, who has also researched sexual harassment in sports with a grant offered by the ministry of youth affairs and sports, was eventually appointed by the SAI as Chand’s mediator-cum-advisor.

Although she is glad that Chand has won her case at the CAS, the new regulations bring up the same concerns as before. “Because of confidentiality reasons, we don’t know where who is being affected.”

The new rules have tried to address some of the concerns that Chand’s case brought up. They’ve stipulated that no surgical intervention will be conducted on the athlete. Instead, the athlete has been asked to take hormonal pills to decrease the level of naturally occurring free testosterone levels. Significantly, the rules have also stipulated that national federations will not deal with these athletes, only the international body will.

“All I can ensure is that the athlete is getting enough information of the side effects and the lifetime of medical support requirement: Who will pay for this? Will the sports management company or the government pay? There are severe side effects to many of these medications, plus the surgery requires prolonged hormonal treatment. They shouldn’t be forced to undergo medical intervention just for the sake of competing. It is unethical,” says Mitra.

The standard operating procedure, which the SAI had come out with in 2013 regarding the implementation of IAAF’s rules has now been withdrawn, and Mitra is keen that if another one is to be made, it should protect the athlete from complaints. “If anything, it should say don’t discriminate on basis of appearance deleted a part here or sexual orientation.”

“The culture of surveillance and suspicion is very much part of our competitive sports today that it encourages people to complain against some athletes. While doping is the only thing that can be used in men’s sports, in women’s sports, it is doping and levels of testosterone that is naturally occurring,” Mitra says.

On the other side of the debate is the Indian Athletics Federation (IAF) which needs to implement the rules of the international body.

Adille Sumariwalla, a council member of the IAAF and the president of the Athletics Federation of India, says the new regulations are based purely on data and proof. He asks how an athlete would feel if she finished outside the top three, and one of the medal winners had hyperandrogenism.

“Now, if there is something within your system which is there by nature, why should it be a disadvantage for a majority of the people who are within the limit?” he asks.

Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, one of India’s most-successful women athletes who is now a part of the national athletics selection team, is less sure. “I don’t know whether there should be gender testing. But athletes should have a level playing field while competing.”

Her dilemma is the central question in athletics today: Whose bodies should be controlled to build a level playing field for all athletes? And, at what cost?

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

What impact the new guidelines will have on a new generation of women athletes in India is unclear, especially in the absence of an national institutionalised grievance redress system.

But Ashok Ahuja, a former head of sports medicine at SAI, underlines that confusion abounds. The SAI has never done a study and so doesn’t know how many athletes have this condition. Moreover, officials are not clear about when, and how many, tests will be performed – on the day of competition, randomly, monthly?

“Plus, the tests currently are only on anonymous complaint, and not random. But there should not be any witch hunt,” he says.

Bruce Kidd, vice-president of the University of Toronto and a long-time advocate for equality in sports, says the guidelines are sure to be challenged in court. “The new IAAF regulations are discriminatory, based on faulty, unproven scientific evidence and they have tremendous potential for harm in the way that the previous policy caused incalculable stress and harm,” he says.

The new IAAF regulations will induce fear among women in middle-distance athletics, avers Kidds. “Nor am I convinced that such regulations are necessary to ‘ensure a level playing field’. Of all the differences among top athletes—height, weight, physiology, biochemistry, personal and national income, etc., etc.--why single out just one factor for policing?” he asks.

Chand’s physiotherapist, Navneeta, who goes by only one name and has worked with SAI for 11 years, has had first-hand experience of seeing the anxiety that women athletes and their parents face. “During a training session, a mother came up to me and requested that her child not do too many bench presses because it might impede the growth of her breasts. When I was working with the women’s boxing team, some of them would ask me how could they increase their bust size. Recently, a teenage sprinter asked me if she was normal, because she has not got her period yet. No matter what sport or body type, everyone feels judged. Question is, if someone has a smaller chest why does that make them manly? If a woman does not get her period, does that make her less womanly?”

The roots of this lie in the anxiety around maintaining western femininity in sports, and this is what drives the hype around “gender testing” and the continued dominance of privileged white notions of what it is to be a woman, argued a 2014 paper by Lynchburg college researcher Lindsay Parks Pieper.

For Chand, who is currently training at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad to make a comeback and has already won the 100m gold in national championships in March, the experience has left her quite cynical.

“The public only looks for problems. They don’t see the extensive work that goes into winning that medal. Every day I train: On the track, in the gym, thrice a day. I left my house at a young age, and haven’t lived with my family since then. When I lose, they’ll say, Dutee has grown old. When I win a medal, then they think it’s ‘hyperandrogenism’.”

Trauma in aftermath of controversial 'gender' rule still haunts Dutee | Aug 29, 2018 | PTI


[In Aug 2018], she crossed the finishing line of the 200m final in 23.20 seconds, behind Bahrain's Edidiong Odiong who won gold in 22.96. The bronze went to China's Wei Yongli (23.27).

"It feels great to win two silver and that too with my personal best time in the semifinals. I was little tight today because I had given my all in the semifinal. I could not give my best (in the final race) but I have trained hard," Dutee said.

She joined her illustrious compatriots such as P T Usha in the list of athletes who have won more than one medal at the Asian Games.

The legendary Usha had swept four gold medals at the 1986 Seoul Games, winning 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay. Jyotirmoyee Sikdar (800m and 1500m) had also won two medals at 1998 Bangkok Games. Sunita Rani (1500m, 5000m) also returned with two medals from the 2002 Busan Games.

Some Asian countries have 'imported' African athletes to improve their profile in athletics. Asked to comment on this issue, Dutee said she does not think about such matters.

"Anyone can come and compete, we can't stop anyone. Irrespective of the field, I just try to give my best and fight to my potential. I pushed really hard towards the end but the other girls had long strides, so she (gold winner) edged me out."

The Odisha government had announced a cash award of Rs 1.5 crore for Dutee, acknowledging her silver medal winning performance in the 100m dash.

Dutee said she will use the money to get better.

"There will definitely be celebration. The occasion demands celebration. Also, the Odisha government has announced big prize money for me. I already have a house, so I will use this money for my training," she said.

She also acknowledged the contribution of various people who have helped her in tough times.

"I was allowed to train at Pullela Gopichand Academy (in Hyderabad) during that time. I want to thank my legal team also which helped me winning the case," she signed off.

2018, Aug: Rules revised, Dutee can compete as a woman

Trauma in aftermath of controversial 'gender' rule still haunts Dutee | Aug 29, 2018 | PTI


JAKARTA: The revision of a controversial 'gender' rule has left Dutee Chand free to compete anywhere but the double Asian Games silver medallist says she is still traumatised by the memories of her gruelling court battle to gain legitimacy.

The 22-year-old Dutee clinched a silver each in the women's 100m and 200m in her first Asian Games here as she was not allowed to participate in the 2014 edition while serving a ban under the hyperandrogenism policy of the IAAF (international athletics federation).

She filed an appealed against this policy before the Court of Arbitration for Sports and won it. In a recent revision of the IAAF's hyperandrogenism policy (which bars women athletes having male hormones above permissible limit from competing), Dutee has been left out of its purview.

The rule now applies to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m, hurdles races, 800m, 1500m, one mile races and combined events over the same distances.

"I have faced a lot since 2014. No one has gone through such a bad phase. I am glad that I could win two medals for the country. As of now there is no issue but there is no guarantee (of any ban)," the diminutive but gritty Dutee told reporters.

"Yes, there is always this fear that it (the ban) might come back. But more the fear, the harder I train," said Dutee who was suspended from competing in 2014-2015.


Sexual orientation

‘In a same-sex relationship’

[https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-48327918 Dutee Chand becomes first openly gay Indian athlete|19 May 2019 | BBC[


Dutee Chand says she was encouraged to speak out after India decriminalised gay sex in 2018

Indian sprinter Dutee Chand has revealed she is in a same-sex relationship, the first sportsperson in India to openly acknowledge being gay.

The 23-year-old athlete says she has been seeing her partner, who comes from her village, for five years.

Chand says the Indian Supreme Court's historic decision to decriminalise gay sex in 2018 encouraged her to speak publicly about her sexuality.

But some members of her family have not accepted her relationship, she says.

"I am having a relationship with a 19-year-old woman from my village [Chaka Gopalpur] for the past five years", she told reporters from Hyderabad where she is training.

"I have found someone who is my soulmate. I have always believed that everyone should have the freedom to love. There is no greater emotion than love and it should not be denied."

Despite attitudes slowly changing in India, Chand told PTI news agency that some members of her family do not accept her decision, and her sister has threatened to expel her from the family.

"My eldest sister feels that my partner is interested in my property. She has told me that she will send me to jail for having this relationship," she added.

Chand was the first Indian sprinter to reach a final at a global athletics event, the World Youth Championships in 2013.

In 2014, she was banned from competing by the Athletics Federation of India after failing a hormone test which found she had unusually high testosterone levels, a condition known as "hyperandrogenism."

Sister's blackmailing forced Dutee to come out

Sujit kumar bisoyi, May 22, 2019: The Times of India


Odia sprinter Dutee Chand, who hogged limelight by revealing her same-sex relationship, said she was forced to reveal it as her elder sister was ‘blackmailing’ her for a sum of Rs 25 lakh.

“As I have been in relationship with a girl of our village since past three years, my elder sister (Saraswati) was continuously threatening to go public about my relationship when I failed to give money on her demand. She was threatening that I cannot concentrate on sports once I get exposed in media about my same-sex relationship,” said Dutee, who addressed a news conference here.

The 23-year old athlete also alleged that her elder sister had once beaten her in Bhubaneswar which she had once reported to the police.

Dutee, who is now India’s fastest woman, recently revealed about her same-sex relationship and became country’s first athlete to do so.

Though the sports fraternity and gender right activists hailed Dutee’s revelation, the Asian Games medalist has been facing ire of her family members. Dutee’s mother Akhuji has objected to her daughter’s decision.

Saraswati, also a former athlete, had also alleged that her sister (Dutee) was being misguided by some persons, who have been trying to siphon off her money, which Dutee has earned as prize money.

When asked about her mother’s objection to her relationship, Dutee said her mother was influenced by someone to make such statements.

“My mother alleged that I am not supporting my family financially, which is not true. I am aware about my duty towards my parents and family. I have been extending all helps including financial to my parents,” Dutee said.

The sprinter, who is preparing for World Champions and Tokyo Olympics-2020, said she has not done anything wrong having relationship with a girl. She said her father and other siblings have no objections to her relationship.

The sprinter also requested a section of media not to spread anything which may impact her career or cause any social harm to her partner.

Responding to Dutee’s fresh allegations, Saraswati said there was no truth in her allegations. Saraswati reiterated that Dutee is being ‘blackmailed and pressurized’ by some people who wants to grab her money.

Dutee’s village turns its back on her

Sudeshna Ghosh, Dutee’s village turns its back on favourite child, June 3, 2019: The Times of India


Sometime in 2013, Gopalpur, a nondescript village in Odisha with less than 600 inhabitants and the nearest town 17 km away, sprinted into the country’s imagination. Dutee Chand, a girl from a povertystricken family, had made headlines as the under-18 national 100 metres champion. She repeated her feat in the 100 as well as 200 metresdash at the senior national championships in Ranchi. It was also the year she won bronze at the Asian athletics meet in Pune and made it to the finals at the World Youth Championships.

Dutee, whose family and equally impoverished neighbours made a living as weavers, had arrived — and how. It was the kind of story that sports films are built around. Thrown into the limelight along with Dutee, Gopalpur, in Odisha’s Jajpur district, basked in her halo too. After years, perhaps endless decades in anonymity, the village had in its midst a national hero. Gopalpur adored her.

May 2019 — when Dutee became India’s first openly gay athlete — changed all that. Gopalpur’s residents now say they are are embarrassed to mention the name of the ace sprinter who put their tiny village on the Indian and global map. To many, the 23-year-old athlete’s declaration of same-sex love was a watershed moment in Indian sports. Back home, though, Gopalpur has condemned her.

“We were proud that a weaver’s daughter from here won medals. But all of us were shocked to know about her relationship,” said Benudhar, president of Gopalpur Weavers Co-operative Society.

Dutee’s own family has been brutal in their criticism of the sprinter. “What she is doing is immoral and unethical. She has destroyed the reputation of our village. I can’t believe...my own daughter...,” Chakradhar Chand, her father, trailed off.

To many youngsters, Dutee was until recently a source of both deep envy and great admiration. But the icon has quickly fallen off the pedestal. “We have only seen such things in movies. We don’t behave like this here. She was one of our own, but she let us down,” said a 21-year-old woman who did not wish to be identified.

Dutee herself is unperturbed. “No one likes to make their personal life public. I had planned to settle down with my partner. But my family got wind of our relationship and my sister threatened that she would tell the world about us and shame us. So I decided to tell everyone myself. Now that I have done it, I’m at peace,” she said.

Being brave is something that comes naturally to her — like her quick, strong strides on hard ground. Born into a poor family with nine members, Dutee trained like a maniac for a better future, practicing on the banks of the Brahmani river, jogging on uneven, kuccha village roads. She knew it was the only way out of penury.

In 2014, when she won gold at an Asian event, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) unceremoniously dropped her at the last moment from the contingent for the Commonwealth Games and eventually also for the Asian Games as she tested positive for higher androgen levels. The decision followed a controversial stand on female hyperandrogenism — that female athletes with high androgen levels have an advantage over other competitors — held by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Not one to be brow-beaten, Dutee took her case to the Court for Arbitration for Sport. In July 2015, CAS found IAAF’s stance to be devoid of scientific evidence and set aside the ruling. It was a verdict with global repercussions and Dutee was eligible to compete again.

Dutee literally had a great run after that — setting national record at the 2016 Federation Cup in New Delhi and becoming the third Indian to qualify for the Olympics sprint.

Away from the track, too, Dutee was happy. Romance was brewing. A young girl came into her life in 2017 and Dutee saw in her a soul mate. “Four of us, including her brother, were staying at a house in Bhubaneswar. I told her about my struggles and she understood me, we grew close,” Dutee said, adding that her friends have supported her coming out though her fa-mily and Gopalpur haven’t. For now, though, that is enough.

Achievements

Till 2018

August 14, 2018: The Times of India


The Odisha athlete, the fastest Indian woman, has come a long way since failing a gender test. The ace sprinter will be hoping to break new ground at the Asiad as she attempts to win medals in the women’s 100m and 200m events in which Indians have struggled to make the podium. The last medal in 100m – no Indian has won a gold – came through PT Usha in 1986.


Aug 29, 2018 | PTI


[In Aug 2018], she crossed the finishing line of the 200m final in 23.20 seconds, behind Bahrain's Edidiong Odiong who won gold in 22.96. The bronze went to China's Wei Yongli (23.27).

"It feels great to win two silver and that too with my personal best time in the semifinals. I was little tight today because I had given my all in the semifinal. I could not give my best (in the final race) but I have trained hard," Dutee said.

She joined her illustrious compatriots such as P T Usha in the list of athletes who have won more than one medal at the Asian Games.

The legendary Usha had swept four gold medals at the 1986 Seoul Games, winning 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay. Jyotirmoyee Sikdar (800m and 1500m) had also won two medals at 1998 Bangkok Games. Sunita Rani (1500m, 5000m) also returned with two medals from the 2002 Busan Games.

Some Asian countries have 'imported' African athletes to improve their profile in athletics. Asked to comment on this issue, Dutee said she does not think about such matters.

"Anyone can come and compete, we can't stop anyone. Irrespective of the field, I just try to give my best and fight to my potential. I pushed really hard towards the end but the other girls had long strides, so she (gold winner) edged me out."

The Odisha government had announced a cash award of Rs 1.5 crore for Dutee, acknowledging her silver medal winning performance in the 100m dash.

Dutee said she will use the money to get better.

"There will definitely be celebration. The occasion demands celebration. Also, the Odisha government has announced big prize money for me. I already have a house, so I will use this money for my training," she said.

She also acknowledged the contribution of various people who have helped her in tough times.

"I was allowed to train at Pullela Gopichand Academy (in Hyderabad) during that time. I want to thank my legal team also which helped me winning the case," she signed off.

Year-Wise, statistics

2018

Asiad

Biswajyoti Brahma, HAPPY AFTER ENDURING PAIN FOR LONG: DUTEE, August 27, 2018: The Times of India

Dutee Chand (women’s 100m)
From: August 27, 2018: The Times of India

It was a sort of redemption for Dutee Chand, who had to undergo “mental agony” following her tryst with hyperandrogenism four years back. The sprinter had to face a lot of hardship and was even dropped from the Indian squad in 2014 due to hyperandrogenism policy of the world athletics body (IAAF). She was later made ineligible before being reinstated following a Court of Arbitration order (CAS).

“Today I feel like a mother who had to bear the pain for nine months but forgets everything once she sees the new-born,” Dutee said after the race. “I am happy to win this medal after enduring pain for long,” she added.

She said she had worked hard for the event in the run up to the event, but could have claimed the gold after the tight fight. “People usually train for four hours a day but I worked for six hours. But my inexperience at competing at international events cost me the gold. The girl who won the top place had experience of several international competitions,” shew said.

Dutee said she was disappointed finishing third in the semifinal and was apprehensive about winning a medal.

2019

Universiade/ 1st Indian to win 100m at global meet

Sabi Hussain, Dutee bags gold at world univ games, 1st Indian to win 100m at a global meet, July 11, 2019: The Times of India


Sprinter Dutee Chand became the first Indian ever to win gold in the 100m race at a global meet when she finished first in the event at the World Universiade in Naples.

Soon after her historic win, Dutee Chand tweeted: “Pull me down, I will come back stronger!” The tweet was Dutee’s way of answering her critics, who have time and again raised doubts over her gender and questioned her personal choices.

“That message was for my family, my elder sister Saraswati and mother Akhuji, who are against my same-sex relationship,” Dutee told TOI from Naples, Italy.

“The gold medal is my reply to them and to all my critics that I can manage both my personal life with my chosen partner and the athletics career. I don’t need their advice. I am mature enough to make my own decisions. This medal should silence all who have been talking rubbish about me, my existence and my choice of soulmate,” she said.

In Naples, the 23-year-old from Odisha’s Chaka Gopalpur village clocked 11.32 seconds to win the gold, leading the race from start to finish. She was the first to get off the blocks in the eight-woman final and thwarted a late challenge from Switzerland’s Del Ponte (11.33s) to finish on top. Lisa KwaYie of Germany took the bronze in 11.39s.

The Universiade is an international multi-sport event organised for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation.

“Ever since I revealed my same-sex relationship, people are writing bad things about me on social media. They say my career is finished, I would no longer be able to concentrate on the Tokyo Olympics. My elder sister has polluted the mind of my mother and other family members. But look, today I have won a gold, that too a historic one. It’s all because I have made the right decisions in my career,” she said.


My existence as a normal person was questioned, says the sprinter

The national record holder at 11.24s is only the second Indian sprinter to win a gold at a global event after Assam’s Hima Das, who had clinched the top spot in 400m in the World Junior Athletics Championships last year. But while Hima’s success came at a junior meet and Dutee competed in a senior-level competition.

Dutee, who had a silver each in 100m and 200m at the 2018 Jakarta Asiad, is also only the second Indian track and field athlete to win a gold in the World Universiade. Shot putter Inderjeet Singh had won gold in his event in the 2015 edition.

Dutee said the win at the Universiade liberated her from years of pain and agony as an athlete, after her dream of representing the country at the 2014 Commonwealth and Asian Games was nipped in the bud by the international athletics body’s (IAAF) draconian hyperandrogenism policy. Dutee had to fight her case in the court of arbitration (CAS) in Lausanne to prove to the athletics world that she didn’t compete with higher levels of testosterone and that the ban on her should be lifted, which eventually happened.

“The last few years have been quite painful for me, where my existence as a normal human being was questioned time and again. When I overcame that difficulty, people made a hue and cry about my same-sex relationship. I want to tell the world that I am in a happy space and I know that none would be happier than my partner back in Odisha. Ever since she has come in my life, I have been winning medals all around. She had prayed for my win and her wish has been fulfilled,” Dutee said.

Dutee added that her timings had improved because she had started focusing on her speed in the first 30m of her sprint and not reducing it till the finish line. “Earlier, I used to put a lot of effort and energy in heats and semifinals, now I look to save my energy for the final race.”

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