After a Court of Arbitration for Sport panel ruled in favour of the International International Association of Athletics Federations against Caster Semenya on a testosterone limit for female athletes, Olympian P. T. Usha said India has seen a number of women runners with high levels of the primary male sexual hormone at national meets in recent times.
READ |Caster Semenya loses case against IAAF over testosterone levels
“There are a lot of athletes like this in India and this has come up in recent times, especially in events like the 200m, 400m and 800m,” Usha told Sportstar on Wednesday evening after learning about the IAAF’s victory.
“The new rules (that women athletes should take medication to reduce their testosterone levels if they want to compete at the international level) should be enforced as soon as possible in India before others start talking about it,” she added, adding that once these are enforced, the timings in many events will slow down.
“Now the timings may not be spectacular as they had been in the recent past. We had come to a stage when natural girls could not do anything about it. So, this is a big victory for women. I welcome this decision because women should only run against women,” Usha said.
Usha, who won four gold medals and one silver at the 1986 Asian Games, said former Asian 800m champion Tintu Luka, her best trainee, had suffered a lot when running against athletes like Semenya and athletes who were doping during her best years, especially at the 2012 London Olympics.
Caster Semenya hypoandrogenism CAS ruling: All you need to know
No concrete evidence as of now, says Valson
C. K. Valson, the Athletics Federation of India secretary, said the CAS verdict will not affect Indian athletes in a big way.
“I don’t find any problem as of now because Dutee Chand runs only the 100m and 200m. In the case of other athletes, there is no concrete evidence as of now,” he Valson.
Dutee Chand won her challenge in the CAS against the IAAF rules on testosterone levels in 2015. Consequently, the two shortest events are exempted from the rules, which now apply for events ranging from 400m to one mile.
READ |IAAF’s new ‘gender’ policy will not affect Dutee Chand
Though the eligibility regulations for athletes with Differences of Sexual Development who want to compete in the female category come into effect almost immediately, Valson said the Indian federation will not be sending an advisory to athletes about them.
“We need not send an advisory to athletes regarding this. If it becomes a rule, everyone will know about it. It will look bad if we send an advisory like that,” he said.
Bahadur Singh, the chief national coach, said he would not like to comment on the matter. “I cannot comment on this because I don’t have detailed knowledge about this. But I don’t think it will impact the Indian team in any way,” he said.