Bhubaneswar: Both are Olympians. If one was a stalwart of Indian athletics of yesteryear’s, the other is the fastest woman in India right now. However, the similarities made way for some unsavoury differences during the Asian Athletics Championships when former Odia athlete and Olympian Rachita Panda Mistry vocally protested current national record holder Dutee Chand in connection with ‘gender case.’
After the IAAF said it would approach the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) again to reopen the hyperandrogenism (male hormones) case against Dutee for which the athlete was disqualified in 2014 but was later granted relief by CAS; Rachita said “Whatever happens, it should be fair. A female athlete should compete against females and vice versa. If tomorrow my daughter happens to compete with Dutee, then I wouldn’t allow it.”
“I have been fighting this case amid all adversities. A lot of people are supporting me, but if Rachita being an athlete herself makes such comments it is not at all good. On a personal level, I think the differences surfaced over Olympic qualification after I broke her record,” said Dutee.