For the past two years, Dutee Chand could be herself.
She could run and train and even compete in the Rio Olympics. She didn’t have to constantly remind people that, yes, of course, she is a woman and that, yes, of course, she qualifies to compete with other women despite her naturally high level of testosterone.
She didn’t have to feel pressure to change her body so it conformed to rules or contemplate quitting her sport — pressure placed on her after doctors subjected her to gender testing in 2013, humiliating her by doing so, when she was only 17.
For two years, she could just be Dutee Chand. That’s because, two years ago last month, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which is the supreme court for global sports, temporarily suspended an international track and field rule that had barred her from competing as a woman.
Chand, a sprinter from India, and women like her were excluded because their bodies produced a high amount of testosterone. It was often so high it was classified as being within the male range, a situation the authorities considered an unfair advantage. The only way these women could compete, track and field officials ruled, was if they took hormone-suppressing drugs or had surgery to limit the amount of testosterone their bodies produced.
The court decision suspending the rule, then, was a mini-victory for Chand, who competed Saturday in the preliminary heats of the 100 meters at the world track and field championships in London, finishing 38th with a time of 12.07 seconds. But the ugly fight about what makes a woman a woman, and what qualifies a woman to compete as a woman, is about to restart. Read more via New York Times