India's sex test failure leads runner suicide attempts

Middle-distance runner Santhi Soundarajan, who was stripped of her Asian Games medal after failing a gender test, was in hospital on Wednesday following an apparent suicide bid, police said.

"It is a possible suicide attempt," police superintendent Kapil Kumar told Reuters. "The doctors are yet to confirm what she consumed.

"She is out of danger now and is not accepting the version of suicide now," he added.

Local athletics official Jehangir told Reuters Soundarajan had taken pesticide in her home town in Tamil Nadu.

Gender testing is controversial and the International Olympic Committee stopped the practice in 1999, but the Olympic Council of Asia continues.

Normally, women have two X chromosomes (XX) and men have an X or Y chromosome (XY) in their cells.

However, some people born with a Y chromosome develop all the physical characteristics of a woman except internal sex organs -- androgen insensitivity syndrome or AIS.

The woman might be XY but still not a man because her body never responds to the testosterone she's producing.

Seven of the eight women who tested positive for Y chromosomes during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics had AIS. They were allowed to compete , the AFP reports.

Source: agencies

Author`s name Alex Naumov