PUDUKOTTAI: International athlete S. Santhi of Pudukottai district, Tamil Nadu, who was stripped of the 800 m silver medal in last year’s Doha Asian Games after failing a gender test, reportedly attempted suicide on Wednesday.
Ms. Santhi (26) was said to have consumed poison at a nursery garden in Machuvadi here and was admitted to the Government Headquarters Hospital by friends. She was shifted to the Thanjavur Medical College Hospital later in the day, and was said to be out of danger.
The hospital authorities told The Hindu that she had consumed some antibiotics meant for livestock.
Superintendent of Police Kapil Kumar C. Saratkar said the athlete denied consuming poison. Ms. Santhi, who hails from Kattakurichi village, 15 km from Pudukottai, won the silver medal in the 800 m in the Asian Games held in December last only to be stripped of the honour by the Olympic Council of Asia.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi sanctioned Rs. 15 lakh in appreciation of her feat, and the State government presented her a plasma television set.
New Delhi Special Correspondent reports:
The expert medical panel, which ruled during the Doha Asian Games that Santhi had no feminine characteristics, was told by the Tamil Nadu athlete that she would rather commit suicide than be deprived of the Asian Games medal, according to the report submitted by the panel. (The medal has so far not been returned to the Olympic Council of Asia.)
The panel had suggested then that the athlete be put under psychiatric care and offered to admit the competitor to a hospital. She declined the offer and flew back home.