x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Indian athlete at centre of gender dispute denies raping girlfriend

Pinki Pramanik, 26, was released from police custody after being granted bail on charges of repeatedly raping her partner who had lived with her for several months in Kolkata.

KOLKATA // A female Indian athlete who won a gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games yesterday denied raping her former girlfriend who has alleged that she is actually a man.

Pinki Pramanik, 26, was released from police custody after being granted bail on charges of repeatedly raping her partner who had lived with her for several months in Kolkata.

"I have been framed. I will talk to my lawyer to challenge the charges against me," Pramanik told reporters as she left detention. "I will go to my flat. I thank those who supported me."

After Pramanik was arrested on June 14, court magistrates ordered her to undergo a gender test at the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata, and doctors said the results were submitted to the court on Tuesday.

Pramanik, who retired in 2007, has previously alleged her former lover brought the rape charges against her after the athlete refused to give her 300,000 rupees (Dh19,834.75).

Pramanik grew up as the daughter of a poor farmer in rural West Bengal, about 220 kilometres from Kolkata, and now works as a ticket inspector on the Indian railways.

She also won a silver in the 4x400m relay at the 2006 Commonwealth Games before she stopped competing.

Gender disputes 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.