New Delhi: Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal yesterday welcomed the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision that allowed Indian sprinter Dutee Chand to resume her racing career, which was brought to a halt owing to IAAF Regulation on Hyperandrogenism.

Sarbananda Sonowal
Sarbananda Sonowal. Pic/PTI 

A three-member CAS panel, chaired by Justice Annabelle Claire Bennett (Federal Court of Australia) suspended the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regulation, that governs eligibility of females with naturally-occurring Hyperandrogenism.

Dutee was barred from competing against women because her natural testosterone levels were too high. "This is a great day for women sports and for Indian sports. It is a tremendous victory for India", Sonowal said through a press release.

Dutee had challenged the regulations and the decision of the AFI to ban her in September 2014. The Sports Ministry provided financial support to Dutee for her appeal and hearing in CAS. With the help of Ministry, she was reinstated in the Centre for Excellence, Patiala.

The CAS has given the IAAF two years to present convincing scientific evidence establishing that naturally high testosterone levels provide an unfair athletic advantage to hyperandrogenic female athletes as compared to their peers.

If the IAAF does not, or cannot, do so the Hyperandrogenism Regulation will be rendered null and void. According to the information provided by Dutee Chand, Toronto-based lawyer James Bunting, Justice Morris Fish of Davies Ward Phillips and Vineberg LLP, who represented Dutee Chand pro bono in CAS, her advisors include Dr. Payoshni Mitra, Professor Bruce Kidd and Dr. Katrina Karkazis in the case.

Dutee expressed her gratitude to Sonowal and the ministry officials, SAI and all those who supported her unconditionally throughout, according to the release.