Gender Testing in Sports

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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by jaydeep » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:29 pm

As per report, Athlete Santhi Soundarajan, who failed a gender test after winning a silver medal at the Doha Asian Games last year, on Wednesday allegedly attempted suicide by consuming "some veterinary medicines".

Tainted athlete attempts suicide



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by Sathya » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:54 pm

jaydeep wrote: As per report, Athlete Santhi Soundarajan, who failed a gender test after winning a silver medal at the Doha Asian Games last year, on Wednesday allegedly attempted suicide by consuming "some veterinary medicines".
This is really Sad. I hope her friends and relatives will support her through this difficult phase henceforth.

Rediff could have used different words for the news item title instead of referring her as "tainted athlete". They should know that little bit more sense from them (media) while publishing this kind of news will help a lot.



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by jayakris » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:07 pm

Sad news indeed, but why do the reports say "she".  If she failed the gender test, then she is a he, no?

Or is it a case where she thinks she is a she, and the test says she should think of herself as a man - leading to all this misery? ..  Anybody knows?

Jay



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by BSharma » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:49 pm

jayakris wrote: Sad news indeed, but why do the reports say "she".  If she failed the gender test, then she is a he, no?

Or is it a case where she thinks she is a she, and the test says she should think of herself as a man - leading to all this misery? ..  Anybody knows?

Jay
I spent an eternity writing up my thesis at Sports-India on "Gender Testing" and Jay asks "Anybody knows?"  :damn:

Jay, read my Part II of the series of article on "Gender Testing".

Part II - Gender Testing of Athletes - Who is a man and who is a woman?

I do not know the medical problem of Santhi Soundarajan and hence cannot write more about her, but people with gender-related problems who are raised as a female since birth consider themselves a female and should be treated by the society as such - no ifs and buts.  Depression is very common among these people and suicide rate perhaps would be high in those when their gender issue becomes public knowledge.   She needs the help from many people - her family, friends, doctors, sports authorities, etc.



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by Kumar » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:54 pm

BSharma wrote:

I spent an eternity writing up my thesis at Sports-India on "Gender Testing" and Jay asks "Anybody knows?"  :damn:

Jay, read my Part II of the series of article on "Gender Testing".

[url=index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=64&topic=213388.0]Part II - Gender
I think Jay went AWOL during those discussion!!! :devil: But it is really a sad state of affair and I feel sad for Santhi. Hopefully she can recover from this..



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by jayakris » Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:08 am

Oh God ...

I feel like a fool.   That whole discussion happened, as I was packing up from Korea and going to India last december (pretty much the day before).  Was internet-less for  few days and I missed the wonderful explanations from Bhushan.  Might not have noticed that the thread had gone to 3 pages quickly, or I would have certainly read it when I got back a few days later.  Even today, I did not notice the previous pages in this thread, as Jaydeep's post came up at the top of page 4 and I thought it was a new thread! ..

I tried to read some of Bhushan's articles quickly.  Need to read more carefully.  Bhushan - why don't you publish the series on the front page, as it is rather timely?  leave it as your opinion article.

I hope my post above did not sound to be in bad taste.  I had no such intention.  Just felt bad for her.  In any case, our society in India, and also the institutions, need to still improve a lot in areas such as compassion to people who are led to mental turmoil, whether it is due to their own actions or not.   People often do not have any concept of the seriousness of the mental trauma that their words and actions can cause on others.

Hope she fights through this tough time,

Jay
Last edited by jayakris on Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by mugu » Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:43 am

It is pertinent to note that Santhi had apparently mentioned about suicide even when she was in Doha. Was she provided any psychiatric help on her return home? It is a moot point. Obviously she needs emotional support. Hope her family and sports/state authorities will help her overcome the trauma.
http://www.hindu.com/2007/09/06/stories ... 511000.htm



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by Kumar » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:54 am

Was just reading the case of Semenya (800 m champion) who is also embroiled in gender controversy. Why is olympic council of Asia following this test which is not very reliable.
The Olympic Council of Asia is the only major sports body that continues widespread sex-verification testing. In 2006, the council stripped 25-year-old Santhi Soundarajan of her 800-meter silver in the Asian Games after she "failed" a sex-verification test. It is unclear exactly what finding caused the disqualification, but Soundarajan, like Patiño, clearly lived her life as a woman, and if she had XY chromosomes and androgen insensitivity, as some media reports suggested, it should not have been considered an advantage.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/w ... z0OxlmmLWK
Caster Semenya Gender case



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by prasen9 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:48 am

The Indian federation should support Shanti and take up the case with the Asian body to restore her medal and perhaps support her to take to running again if she wants. In this case, the person should deserve much more support than some of the drug cheats provided, of course, this was not a case of a clear cut man simply faking.



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by mugu » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:49 am

Prasen, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) did try to shield Santhi in Doha, but found that it was difficult for it to argue after the medical panel report came back. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) then decided to strip her of the silver she won in the 800. I am sure, not everything was published about what her case was, though I do agree that the OCA did not wait for all possible tests to be completed in Santhi's case before announcing its decision to strip her of the medal. Yet, no one had a doubt that there was a serious problem about her gender/sex.
Unlike what the article in SI.com says, the OCA does not do gender tests as a pratice; that is test women before they compete (basically chromosome tests). Everyone discontinued this test when IOC discontinued it. OCA is no exception. But IOC, as well as OCA, as well as IAAF etc still keep an option, that if any one questions the gender of an athlete and makes a complaint or else if a dope control official reports it (as was the case with Santhi) then the matter could be looked into. This does not mean that every case, where someone objects to a particular female with a heavy voice or manly looks would be taken up. Obviously, the panel that initially conducted an examination would be giving its observations to the concerned authorities and the latter would then be forced to carry out further tests to determine whether an athlete can indeed compete in the women's section as a female. And this is not repeat not determined by chromosome pattern or one endocrine test; there will be a series of tests.
It is understandable that no further explanations were made in Santhi's case since the matter is sensitive. Even then, she tried to commit suicide. In the South African girl's case, the IAAF has kept details away from the media and only stated that further tests would be conducted. I only wish, the news, in the first place, should not have been leaked at all in the present case since there is no disqualification unlike in the Santhi case where the news was leaked only after she was disqualified, at least within the confines of committee rooms.



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by mugu » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:54 am

Oh, forgot to mention one point; Prasen' suggestion of Santhi being helped to come back. She would need to undergo a surgery and then wait for a specified period before attempting to come back. The IOA offered to further get her examined by an expert panel of doctors at the AIIMS for further corrective surgery, if any. She refused.



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by Kumar » Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:07 pm

Mugu, I think the author of the SI article makes a great point. If an athlete was born as a female and lived an entire life as female, why shouldn't they let her participate as one? She has so many disadvantages to go thru a life like this, but can't capitalize on this one advantage ?



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by mugu » Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:33 pm

A true male in a female's garb, whether 'he' has lived all his life as a female or not, will beat the rest of the females in all races hollow. And I think that alone should not be an argument to let someone compete in a female section. Say for example, when a female sprinter is clocking 10.73 seconds to win the Olympic or World championship gold, the one who has lived all his life as a female (but is actually a male) will easily clock somewhere around 10.60 seconds (the time that an average male sprinter in India will clock, and not someone in the USA or Jamaica will clock) if trained properly and has had proper diet. This could be applied to transgender/transexual cases also. It will be unfair to deprive the true female of her medal just as it is unfair to deprive a "clean" athlete of his/her medal because someone is having an advantage based on a gender problem or someone else is doped. "If an athlete was born as a female...", well, then the chances are very slim that she would turn into a case where rules will bar her from competing in the female section. Even if she develops certain male characteristics into her adolescence she can receive medical/surgical intervention to correct things. There are any number of exceptions that have been listed for various conditions (do look up detailed posts on this subject on this very same thread by Bhushan_wonder why the good doc is not here nowadays!_when we discussed the Santhi case post-Doha AG).



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by jayakris » Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:48 pm

mugu - you may not have read the thread "Doc's near-death experience" in the chit chat section. Please do. We never changed the thread title, and so you may have missed it. We miss him, badly. Jay



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Re: Gender Testing in Sports

Post by mugu » Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:27 pm

I just read it Jay. Feel as numb as the rest of you would have been last April. What can I say? Thanks for pointing this out, though it was shocking, for, as I read through, I always believed that Good Doc would be telling his tale of how he overcame the odds! After so many months, when I did not come in here, it sounds terrible, when some of you see my post above. I feel miserable that I completely missed it and wanted Good Old Doc to join the ongoing discussion.



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