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Indian athlete in gender dispute charged with rape

The runner Pramanik was arrested and forced to undergo a gender test following accusations from a woman who previously lived in her flat that she had been raped

Pramanik, 26, was arrested in June.
Pramanik, 26, was arrested in June.

POLICE IN INDIA today charged an international gold medal-winning athlete with raping her former partner after medical tests showed she was actually a man.

Pinki Pramanik, who retired in 2007 after winning team gold in the 4x400m relay at the 2006 Asian Games, was charged after a report was completed by a medical board set up to determine her gender.

“Medical tests have confirmed that Pinki is not a female,” BN Kahali, chairman of the board, told AFP. “Pinki is a male pseudo-hermaphrodite. We have submitted the medical report to the district sessions court.”

Male pseudo-hermaphrodites are genetic males who develop some female physical characteristics and identities. Prabir Roy, officer in charge of the Baguihati police station in Kolkata, said the athlete has been charged with rape and forgery.

Pramanik, 26, was arrested in June and forced to undergo a gender test following accusations from a woman who previously lived in her flat that she had been raped. Pramanik’s arrest and allegations over her gender caused a sensation in India, with rights’ groups complaining her privacy had been invaded by the authorities and media in Kolkata.

The athlete, the daughter of a poor farmer in rural West Bengal, also won a silver in the 4x400m relay at the 2006 Commonwealth Games before she stopped competing the following year.

Indian athletics authorities could not be reached for comment today.

- © AFP, 2012

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