India woman athlete arrested on charges of 'rape' and 'being a man'


Indian athlete Pinki Pramanik celebrates after winning the women's 400m final at the 10th South Asian Games in Colombo, 25 August 2006.



A top Indian female runner who took gold at the 2006 Asian Games has been arrested by police on charges that she raped her former lover and is actually a man.

According to Reuters, Pinki Pramanik was detained on Thursday in West Bengal state after her female, live-in partner, Subrata Bandopadhyay, accused Pramanik of being “male” and raping her. Pramanki has refused to comply with a court order obtained by police requesting health officials to carry out a medical test to prove her gender.

Biddhannagar police commissioner Rajeev Kumar has said that the case against Pramanik turns completely on the results of the medical examination, but Pinki – who has been remanded in custody until June 29 – told The Times of India that “I have undergone numerous tests during my career as an athlete. Why should I agree to more ridiculous tests?”

According to the BBC, Pramanik won gold medals in the 4x400m relay at the 2006 Doha Asiad and in the 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay races at the 2006 SAF Games in Colombo. She also took silver in the 4x400 relay at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

India’s Athletics Federation is waiting for the results of the medical examination and a police investigation before considering what actions it may take against the runner, who retired in 2007, the BBC reported.

More from GlobalPost: Is this runner male or female? The question sparks outrage in South Africa

Issues over gender in sport can often be caused by Congenital Adrenal Hyperpasia (CAH), which causes women to have male characteristics, or Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), where the genitalia of a person who is genetically male appear to be female, according to the Agence France Presse.

In 2006 India’s Santhi Soundarajan had to give up the silver medal she had secured in the women’s 800m at the Doha Asiad after failing a gender test, while South African runner and women’s 800m 2009 world champion Caster Semenya had to endure an eleven-month investigation into her gender, which eventually authorized her to compete, the news agency reported.