GB Pant Hosp to conduct gender verification tests of athletes

"A gender verification committee as per Commonwealth Games Federation guidelines has been formed at the Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital. All cases requiring gender verification shall be referred to this hospital for processing as per CGF guidelines," S Bhattacharjee, Director, Directorate of Health Services, Delhi government said.

"The committee will comprise a gynaecologist, an endocrinologist, a general surgeon and a representative of the Games organising committee," he said.

Nearly 71 countries are participating in the sporting extravaganza scheduled to be held in the city from October 3 to 14.

"There is always a fear that male athletes would pose as female athletes and have an unfair advantage over their competitors. Someone may be an intersexed individual also. No unfair practise by athletes over their competitors will be entertained," Bhattacharjee said.

Among the many cases, Indian middle-distance runner Santhi Soundarajan who won the silver in 800 metres at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar failed the gender verification test and was stripped of her medal.

Similarly, German athlete Dora Ratjen had set a world record for women's high jump at 1938 European Championships. However, tests by the German police concluded that she was actually a man who then took the name Heinrich Ratjen.

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