Santhi Soundarajan

Santhi Soundarajan

Indian athlete who failed gender test
Date of Birth: 04.1981Год
Country: India

Biography of Santhi Soundarajan

Santhi Soundarajan is an Indian athlete who gained international attention in 2006 after being stripped of her silver medal in the 800-meter race at the Asian Games due to failing a gender test. She was born in Kathakkurichi, a village in the Pudukkottai District of Tamil Nadu, India. Coming from a poor family, Soundarajan shared her struggles of growing up in poverty with the media. Her parents, a mother and an older father, worked in a brick kiln to provide for their five children. Soundarajan's athletic talent emerged during her school years, earning her a scholarship at Madras Christian College. It was at college where she began serious training and soon started winning national championships. Despite modest earnings, Soundarajan sent money to her parents to help support her family.

Santhi Soundarajan

In 2005, she became a sporting sensation by winning a silver medal in the Asian Games, finishing second in the 800-meter race. The following year, Soundarajan again secured second place in the same race, but her joy was short-lived. Despite the absence of any banned substances in her doping tests, she was asked to undergo a gender verification test. The results led to the revocation of her silver medal. While gender verification tests are not mandatory for all athletes, the International Association of Athletics Federations has the authority to require any athlete to take the test, and the refusal to do so is considered a failure. This test involves assessments from gynecologists, geneticists, endocrinologists, psychologists, and general medical specialists.

Santhi Soundarajan

Soundarajan was devastated by the outcome of the test, as she was barred from competing in her beloved 1500-meter distance, and her reputation faced significant scrutiny. Indian fans questioned how she had gone undetected for several years. Some even claimed that she was a victim of an international sports conspiracy. The sporting officials stated that not being recognized as a woman did not necessarily mean she was considered a man. The issue of Soundarajan's gender remained unresolved. In-depth investigations into her biography revealed that children growing up in poverty often experience delays in sexual development, leading to hormonal imbalances. The commission theorized that this could have happened to Soundarajan.

Santhi Soundarajan

Despite being stripped of her medal, the Indian government attempted to support Soundarajan by awarding her a financial prize and expressing full moral support. However, the setbacks took a toll on her mental health. In 2007, she attempted suicide but survived the attempt. She later overcame her depression and became a coach at a school. By 2009, over 60 of her students had achieved various medal-worthy accomplishments at the regional level. Soundarajan's detailed story is showcased in the documentary film titled "Y can't I run?"

Santhi Soundarajan

Currently, Soundarajan works in a brick kiln and earns 200 rupees per day.

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