KOLKATA // A female Indian athlete who won a gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games underwent a gender test yesterday after she was charged with raping her former lover, who alleged she is actually a man.
Pinki Pramanik, who retired in 2007, is in police custody in Kolkata after being arrested last week over allegations that she repeatedly raped her female live-in partner.
When Ms Pramanik appeared in court to be charged with rape, the magistrate ordered a panel of experts to assess her gender.
"A seven-member medical board conducted a medical test on Pinki Pramanik at the Barasat hospital to determine her sex," the chief medical officer Sukanta Seal, who is on the board, said yesterday.
Mr Seal said the board also included two gynaecologists, two general doctors, a psychiatrist and a surgeon.
He declined to say when the results of the test would be released.
Ms Pramanik has alleged her former partner brought the rape charges after the athlete refused to give her 300,000 rupees (Dh19,700).
Ms Pramanik, 26, won a team gold in the 4x400-metre relay at the Asian Games in Qatar and a silver for the same event at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Australia before she stopped competing the following year.
She grew up as the daughter of a poor farmer in rural West Bengal state and now works as a ticket inspector for Indian Railways.
Police said Ms Pramanik, who had lived with her partner in Kolkata for a number of months, will stand trial for rape, criminal assault, cheating and criminal intimidation.
Gender controversies in sport are often caused by congenital adrenal hyperplasia when females have male physical characteristics or androgen insensitivity syndrome, when someone is genetically male but their genitals may appear to be those of a female.