Dutee Chand cleared to race as IAAF suspends 'gender test' rules

Dutee Chand
Dutee Chand won 200m bronze at the 2013 Asian Championships
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Indian sprinter Dutee Chand has been cleared to race by a landmark ruling questioning the validity of so-called gender tests around naturally high testosterone levels in female athletes.

Chand, 19, had been banned since last summer after failing a hormone test.

But the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) has suspended the International Association of Athletics Federations' "hyperandrogenism" rules for two years.

The rules will be scrapped if the IAAF cannot provide new evidence.

In a statement,external-link the IAAF said the regulations had been adopted "following a lengthy and comprehensive consultation exercise" with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

When is a woman not woman enough?
What is the hormone test? Dutee Chand's story and a history of controversy

Athletics' governing body said it would meet the IOC and experts as soon as possible "to discuss how best to address this interim ruling".

In its ruling, Cas urged the IAAF to create a procedure where athletes should be allowed to compete in one of the female or male categories and should not be excluded as a "consequence of the natural and unaltered state of their body".

Chand's initial suspension was applied by the Athletics Federation of India in line with the IAAF's guidelines on women testing for high levels of naturally-occurring testosterone.

The Indian champion's legal team argued the ruling was discriminatory and flawed at a hearing in March.

Dutee Chand's fast lane to controversy
The third of seven children to a weaver couple from the state of Odisha, Dutee is born on 3 February, 1996
Becomes Indian national under-18 champion for 100m when she clocks 11.8 seconds in 2012
Wins a 200m bronze at 2013 Asian Games and is first Indian to reach a global sprint final at the World Youths, coming sixth in 11.62 seconds
Claims 100/200m double at Asian Junior Athletics Championships, prompting the Athletics Federation of India to ask for a gender test in July

And Cas has expressed its concerns not only over the validity of the guidelines, but also over a lack of evidence proving the precise degree of competitive advantage that a hyperandrogenic athlete would possess.

Chand, who has missed the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games during her suspension, has been the first athlete to challenge the regulations, introduced in the wake of the Caster Semenya affair in 2009.

The South African teenager was asked to take a gender test shortly before winning the 800m at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in Berlin.

Subjected to enormous media scrutiny, Semenya subsequently returned to the sport, winning an Olympic silver medal at London 2012.