Now I am free to pursue my passion for athletics: Dutee Chand

New Delhi: Relieved after being cleared to participate in national and international events, Indian athlete Dutee Chand today said she is keen to resume her athletics career right away.

The Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne today partially upheld her appeal against the IAAF Regulation on Hyperandrogenism, which had barred her from taking part in women's competitions. The Odisha Sprinter is ready to forget the past and move forward.

"I can't say that I am really really happy because I have lost a crucial one year of my career. It was heartbreaking at times and I cried many times. But now I am free to pursue my passion for athletics. I will try to do my best now. I will now train hard to be able to bring laurels for the country," Dutee, who is now training at the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad, told PTI.

"Next year is Olympics but I can't say anything about that but I am sure I will be able to do something big in the next five years," she added. According to the CAS there was no clear evidence that she might have benefited from her condition of having enhanced testosterone levels than others. Dutee admits her hope kept her afloat in trying times.

"I never lost hope during this case was going on. I never gave up. Somehow I thought that I will win this case as it was not at all my fault. It was unfair to ban me from taking part in competitions as I was just like any other athlete. In my dreams, I saw myself running at the tracks and winning races," she said.

"The thought of quiting athletics had never crossed my mind. Even if I had lost the case I would have still continued my passion for athletics. I thought I would continue the fight or otherwise I would groom other athletes who would bring laurels for the country.

"I called up my mother to convey the news and she cried after hearing the good news. It must be tears of joy. She told me to forget the disappointments of missing out one year and work even harder to win medals for the country," she added.

Sports Authority of India (SAI) Director General Injeti Srinivas also welcomed the CAS verdict on Dutee. "SAI welcomes CAS's landmark verdict on IAAF's Hyperandrogenism regulations, which have been suspended pending scientific evidence. SAI's faith in fair play and Dutee Chand's endurance have finally paid off. She can now prepare without any uncertainty. We are delighted with the verdict," he said.

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