New Delhi: Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday welcomed the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) getting Indian athlete Dutee Chand back to the race track.
A three-member panel of the apex court in sports chaired by Justice Annabelle Claire Bennett suspended the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regulation governing eligibility of females with naturally-occurring hyperandrogenism.
Monday's verdict has thus allowed Chand, a 100 and 200 metres specialist, to be "immediately and unconditionally eligible to compete after being barred from competing against women because her natural testosterone levels were too high".
Until the decision, the regulation had caused female athletes with naturally-elevated testosterone levels to be sidelined or banned and they had to undergo medical intervention to get back into action.
The 19-year-old Chand challenged the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) September 2014 ban on her and was supported by the Indian government.
"This is a great day for women sports and for Indian sports. It is a tremendous victory for India," said Sonowal.
The CAS has given the IAAF two years to present convincing scientific evidence establishing that naturally high testosterone levels provide an unfair athletic advantage to hyperandrogenic female athletes as compared to their peers. If the IAAF does not, or cannot, do so, the hyperandrogenism regulation will be rendered null and void.