Guest post by SURABHI SHUKLA and ANUBHA SINGH
The Sports Authority of India recently excluded Dutee Chand from the Commonwealth Games on the basis that her androgen level exceeds the ‘normal’ range thus enhancing her performance and giving her a competitive advantage over other women athletes. This test seeks to eliminate any ‘unfair’ advantage which some women may draw from tested ‘elevated’ androgen levels and is invoked only when women perform excellently in non-traditional competitive sporting arena. Failing to accommodate the role of environmental factors and variations in ‘female’ bodies, such tests are deep rooted in the ideas of gender stereotyping and discrimination and question women’s abilities to perform beyond traditional gender defined roles. Understanding international standards and the constitutional guarantee of fundamental rights in tandem, the unconstitutionality of these tests and the various rights violations visited upon the athlete Dutee Chand begin to surface. Instead of focusing on this incident as a conspiracy or a political scheme, it is time that the matter is seen as violation of rights of Dutee Chand both on the grounds of the test failing to meet international standards and on its patent unconstitutionality.
“I am completely shattered over the development. I am an athlete and wanted to bring glory to my country. All my efforts have gone astray,”
Dutee Chand as reported to the Daily Excelisor, 19th July, 2014 Continue reading Strength Of A Woman? Surabhi Shukla and Anubha Singh