Allegations of rape against an athlete, who has represented India in international events, created a stir here on Thursday as the complaint filed with the police raised questions about her gender.
Pinky Pramanik, who had won a gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha in the 4x400 meters relay event, was accused of rape and torture by her neighbour. The victim has alleged that the athlete is actually a man who had maintained sexual relations with her on the promise of marrying her. The complaint was lodged at the Baguihati thana in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district on Wednesday.
During the day, Ms. Pramanik was produced before a court that directed a medical test be conducted. “A medical team was formed to conduct the test, but she refused to undergo the test claiming that she cannot be forced against her will to do so. We will again produce her before the court on Friday,” said Subrata Bandopadhyay, deputy commissioner (headquarters), Bidhannagar.
She has not been arrested so far, but the police have detained her for investigations, he said. Ms. Pramanik hails from a remote village near the State's border with Jharkhand in Purulia district. She came to the limelight in 2002 at an inter-district event at Kolkata and made her debut for India in the junior section in 2003. She is a middle-distance runner of repute and had won gold at the Doha Asian Games and the Asian Indoor Games in 2005 at Pattaya and a silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games at Melbourne — all three in the 4x400 relay event. She also won three gold medals at the South Asian Games in Colombo in 2006.
Ms. Pramanik has in the past been put through a gender test, where she was identified as a woman, following which she was allowed to participate in international events.