Following a petition by Santhi Soundarajan, who was stripped of her Asian Games silver medal in 2006 after she reportedly failed a gender test, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has decided to inquire into allegations of humiliation and injustice meted out to her.
In a letter sent recently by NCSC’s office in Chennai to the Secretary of Department of Sports in India, it has demanded that all the information pertaining to Santhi’s case be submitted to the commission within a month so that it can begin its investigations.
Santhi had in her complaint to the NCSC in March this year claimed that one of the reasons for the discrimination and humiliation she faced was because she belonged to a Scheduled Caste.
She had alleged that, soon after she won the silver medal at the Asian Games in Doha in 2006, she was subjected to gender test in the most inhumane manner by men who did not understand the language she spoke and none of the Indian authorities were present to help her. The results of the test were not made available to her till date even though she was barred based on the test.
Santhi had pointed out the ruling of Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) last year in favour of athlete Dutee Chand, who underwent similar ordeal, in which it had suspended the present regulations used by International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) for gender test after terming them as scientifically unsound.
“The regulations suspended by CAS were brought only in 2011. Santhi was tested in 2006 when the methods were even more unscientific. Hence, the Indian government should fight for Santhi and help her regain her medal,” said M. Gopi Shankar, a gender rights activist who is assisting Santhi in fighting her case.
Santhi had highlighted in her petition to NCSC that she had not yet been provided a permanent job despite the Madras High Court directed Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu to consider her plea for the same.
She is serving as an athletic coach at SAI’s facility in Mayiladuthurai.