Court decrees athlete's gender to be determined within 14 days

A district court on Friday remanded Pinky Pramanik, a woman athlete said to be a male, and accused of rape by her neighbour, in judicial custody for 14 days.

“It has also directed that the athlete's gender be determined through a medical test in a government hospital within 14 days,” said Subrata Bandopadhyay, Deputy Commissioner (Headquarters), Bidhannagar.

Since questions have been raised about her gender, Ms. Pramanik will be kept in a separate cell until medical tests have been conducted, police sources have added.

Ms. Pramanik is a middle-distance runner of repute and had won gold at the 2006 Doha Asian Games and the 2005 Asian Indoor Games at Pattaya and a silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games at Melbourne — all three in the 4 x 400 relay event. She also won three gold medals at the South Asian Games in Colombo in 2006.

Ms. Pramanik was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by the neighbour at the Baguihati police station alleging that the athlete was actually a man, who had repeatedly raped and tortured her.

“I used to be assaulted. It became unbearable. There would be shouting and the neighbours could also hear it. I would regularly be pressed for money,” the victim told journalists.

“On June 26, I could not take it anymore, so I went to the police station and filed a complaint,” she added.

However, Ms. Pramanik's father, Durgacharan Pramanik, has claimed that the allegations against his daughter are false, adding that there can be no doubt about her gender.

The complainant had borrowed money from Ms. Pramanik and was refusing to repay the loan. The allegations have been raised only to malign her, Mr. Pramanik added.

Ms. Pramanik was detained on Wednesday, but refused to undergo a medical test after being produced in court on Thursday.