Gender row athlete Pinki Pramanik charged with rape

By Amitabha Bhattasali
BBC News, Calcutta

image captionPinki Pramanik won four gold medals for India in 2006

Police in India say they have formally charged gender row athlete Pinki Pramanik with rape, after a complaint by a live-in partner.

They say medical tests also confirm the athlete is male - earlier tests had proved inconclusive.

Pramanik maintains she is female and the case against her is "a conspiracy".

The runner, who was arrested in June and freed on bail a month later, won a number of medals for India six years ago, including four golds.

"The medical report of Pinki Pramanik suggests that the athlete is male," police said in a chargesheet submitted in court in the town of Barasat in West Bengal state.

They said the athlete is also charged with cheating and threatening her then partner, a woman.

Pramanik's lawyers have denied the rape charges.

The medical tests were carried out by a panel of doctors at a government hospital in the state capital, Calcutta.

Two earlier gender tests in Barasat hospitals had been inconclusive.

Ms Pramanik won gold in the 4x400m relay in the 2006 Doha Asian Games and a silver in the same event at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

She also won three gold medals in the 2006 South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in Colombo when she won the 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay events.

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