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Asian Games

Swapna Barman alleges heptathlon medallist Nandini should be ineligible

Swapna Barman, who finished 4th at the Asian Games on Sunday night, makes an explosive allegation - 'medallist Nandini Agasara is a transgender who has snatched her medal away'.

Swapna Barman alleges heptathlon medallist Nandini should be ineligible

Nandini Agasara (second from left) and Swapna Barman (extreme right) compete in the women's heptathlon at the Asian Games (AGNS)


Dipankar Lahiri

Updated: 2 Oct 2023 6:40 AM GMT

Hangzhou: Swapna Barman made an explosive allegation on Monday morning, saying that heptathlon medallist Nandini Agasara, who pipped her to a heptathlon medal at the Asian Games on Sunday night, should be ineligible from competing because she is transgender woman.

"If I do not get this medal which I deserved I shall expose everyone. Everyone can see the injustice that I am being subjected to," Swapna told The Bridge through tears less than a day after she walked away with a 4th-place finish.

"Transgender athletes, who have testosterone levels above 2.5, cannot compete in events over 200 metres. No girl can come up in heptathlon so fast. I have trained for 13 years in this, it is impossible that she trains for four months and gets to this level," Swapna said.

According to the latest World Athletics regulations which came into force from March 31 this year, all athletes who have gone through what World Athletics calls 'male puberty' are prohibited from participating in all female world rankings competitions.

'Have complained about Nandini before too'

Swapna said that she had earlier made complaints about Nandini as well, after the Telengana-based athlete had scored 5700 points at her first competition in the Inter-states before the Asian Games.

"I have protested earlier against her, I was surprised to see her name in the Asian Games list. Federation officials are asking me to protest again, they are saying that they are not doctors, only doctors can verify. They are asking me to go to NADA, WADA. I ask for help with folded hands," Swapna said.

READ | Nandini Agasara wades through sleepless nights and sacrifices for priceless bronze

Swapna also alleged that Nandini has 'fled' the Asian Games Village following her complaint.

"We were supposed to leave Hangzhou on the 6th of October. She has fled after my complaint saying her mother is sick because she knew there would be a test. Who got her the tickets?" Swapna said.

After the heptathlon final on Sunday night, Swapna was seen quietly walking away from the mixed zone, pointing towards Nandini. It had seemed then that she was saying reporters should focus on Nandini because of the special achievement the new girl had made. As is clear from developments a few hours later, things are not as they had looked.

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