The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) has listed the Standard Operative Procedure (SOP) to identify circumstances of Female Hyperandrogenism which would render a sportsperson ineligible to compete as a female athlete.

According to the SOP, a medical examination can be carried out at any level of competition. However, to avoid harassment, the ministry has made it clear that the test must be applied only when there is a reasonable doubt.

The SOP also clarifies that any medical investigation can only be carried out, at the explicit and written request, of either the athlete herself or the medical officer of SAI/concerned NSF, with sufficient proof.

A written complaint by a third party may also be entertained, provided the complainant is in possession of original documents on the basis of which the request is being made.

The procedure for the medical examination, to be carried out only by a female doctor of SAI/NSF, would include external genital examination of the sportsperson.

In cases where an external examination is ambiguous, certain other tests as specified in the SOP would be required.

Review possible

The sportsperson can ask for a review if she is not satisfied with the result of the medical examination.

The SOP requires both the Sports Authority of India and recognised National Sports Federations to appoint female nodal officers and alternate nodal officers, as per the guidelines, to take necessary action. All costs would be borne by SAI/NSF.

The ministry has also made it clear that the examination would not amount to a gender test and that an athlete, rendered ineligible to compete as a female, would be eligible to compete as a male, provided he qualifies.

Also, no athlete would be barred from participation till the medical investigation is completed.


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