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Last Updated: Monday, 18 December 2006, 12:42 GMT
Indian athlete fails gender test
Santhi Soundararajan at the Asian Games, Doha
Soundararajan cleared a gender test last year
A top Indian woman athlete who won a silver medal at a recent regional championship has failed a gender test, officials say.

Santhi Soundararajan, who took the silver in the women's 800m race at the Asian Games in Doha, has been stripped of her medal, reports say.

Soundararajan, 25, was declared the best athlete at an Indian championship in the capital, Delhi, this year.

In 1999, a woman in an Indian state football team failed a gender test.

Not mandatory

"Santhi was subjected to a gender test in Doha and we have received the report which says she failed the test," said Manmohan Singh, chairman of the Indian Olympic Association's Medical Commission.

Soundararajan is refusing to comment. "I was not informed about the test results and I don't know much on that. I do not want to talk about it," she told journalists.

The test is not mandatory, but is carried out if officials want it or a rival team protests, reports say.

KP Mohan, a sports journalist, said athletes were usually examined by a team of doctors, including a gynaecologist, endocrinologist and psychologist, and put through physical and clinical examinations during a gender test.

The test was carried out soon after Soundararajan came second in the women's 800m race on 9 December.

Reports say the athlete cleared the gender test at the Asian track and field championship in South Korea last year where she won the silver medal in the 800m.

It is not clear how she failed the test at the Asian Games in Doha.

This is the second controversy to hit Indian athletes within a month - female shot putter Seema Antil was withdrawn from the Asian Games after she failed a pre-competition dope test.

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