Young sprinter Dutee Chand has been axed from the Indian contingent for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, starting 23 July, after the sprinter was embroiled in a gender row.
Dutee had recently undergone a gender verification test in Bangalore, which has ignited speculations the move has arrived because the sports authorities are looking to remove any potential embarrassment in the multisport event.
Earlier, Sports Authority of India (SAI) director general Jiji Thomson had said they will drop the athlete if she fails the test.
"The test was taken last week. If the results are confirmed, then naturally, we will not send her. We have zero tolerance towards age fraud, doping and these things," Thomson had said.
However, a top official of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) insisted Dutee failed to make the qualification cut in the National Inter-State Meet and her exclusion has nothing to do with the gender test.
"It [Chand's axing] has nothing to do with any other issue. She did not touch the qualifying standard," a top AFI official told PTI.
But, AFI secretary CK Valson revealed Dutee's name was there on the original 33-member athletic team for the CWG. "Yes, she is there in the list," Valson said.
However, Valson gave no details why the 18-year-old was axed at the last minute. "I am not in a position to say anything on that issue. I have no idea on that," he said.
Dutee, while talking to TNIE, revealed that she was taken for a test before the World Junior Championship and was threatened by one of the coaches and doctors when asked about the outcome of the test.
"A few days ago, I was taken to the hospital and asked to give tests," Dutee said. "They said it was a routine check-up before the World Junior Championship, which will be held from 22-27 July in Oregon. I don't know what the test was about.
"When I asked the doctor for reports, she told me there was some problem in my blood, so I wouldn't be able to compete in the Commonwealth Games or in any international event. They didn't give me the report. The doctor and one of the coaches threatened me to sign on some paper. It was in English, so I couldn't make out the contents."
The young Odisha sprinter, who won a bronze medal in the 200M in the Asian Championships in 2013, said she had undergone a number of tests before, but this is the first time she is facing this kind of problem.
"I have participated in many tournaments and given many tests but have never come across any such problem," she said. "Running is my passion and people seem to have a problem with it. I don't know about these tests but all I want to do is run for my country again."