Go by rules before punishing Pinki Pramanik: PT Usha

India’s former sprint queen PT Usha has thrown the rule book at all those calling for Pinki Pramanik to be stripped off her medals following reports yesterday that the former athlete’s female partner had accused her of rape claiming she was a male. 

Pinki Pramanik celebrates after winning the women’s 400m final in the 2006 South Asian Games in Colombo. PIC/AFP

Former India middle-distance runner Pramanik was yesterday arrested on charges of rape amid allegations that she was actually male. Police said Pramanik was arrested after a woman, in a complaint at the Baguiati police station in the North 24-Parganas district of Bengal, claimed that Pinki was male and had been living with her for the past several months with a promise to marry her, but later refused.

Police also said that a medical checkup in a government-run hospital would be done on Pramanik after which she would be produced in court. Pramanik had won gold in the 4x400m relay at the 2006 Doha Asian Games besides a silver in the same event at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

PT Usha

Pramanik also bagged three gold medals in the 2006 SAF Games in Colombo when she won the 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay events. Pramanik retired from the sport three years ago. Yesterday’s arrest initiated a growing voice calling for Pramanik to be stripped off her medals.

Usha however, felt that the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) must go by the rule book. “According to the rules, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is responsible for conducting all the necessary tests before and immediately after international competitions.

“So, the AFI must first try and find out if these tests were conducted at the time Pinki participated in the various international events and if Pinki cleared those tests at that time,” Usha told MiD DAY from Calicut in Kerala yesterday, where she is currently running the Usha School of Athletics to train Indian athletes for the future.

Usha hinted that it could be too late to strip Pinki off her medals. “I don’t think there is any provision by the IAAF to strip a player of medals in such a situation (Pinki won the medals back in 2006). And the AFI will have to adhere to the IAAF’s rules. Personally, I would not like to comment on whether Pinki should be stripped off her medals or no,” she signed off.  

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