South African Caster Semenya’s gender verification test controversy may not have a direct bearing on India but the country’s athletics body is closely following the matter to see if it can make out a case for Tamil Nadu athlete Santhi Soundarajan.

Soundarajan was stripped of her 2006 Doha Asian Games 800m silver medal after she failed a gender verification test and the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is closely watching whether Semenya returns the 800m gold medal that she won in the Berlin World Championships last month if she fails a similar test.

AFI General Secretary Lalit Bhanot said if the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) does not ask Semenya to return the gold medal in case she fails the gender test, it will mull over asking the Olympic Council of Asia to return Soundarajan’s silver.

“I am not jumping the gun. It is a very sensitive issue so first of all we will wait till November 21 when the IAAF announces the result of Semenya’s gender verification test and we will decide whether to ask them (Olympic Council of Asia) to return the silver won by Soundarajan,” Mr. Bhanot told PTI on Tuesday.

“IAAF’s decision whether to strip Semenya her gold if she fails the gender test will be very important and we will go from there. We will discuss our medical commission and decide on the course of action,” Mr. Bhanot added.

Asked whether there was any time limit to appeal for Soundarajan’s case as nearly three years have already passed he said, “We can do it (ask for return) any time.”

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