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Nandini row: Swapna will have to explain her conduct, says AFI | Hyderabad News – Times of India

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HANGZHOU: Heptathlete Swapna Barman, a former Asian Games gold medallist, triggered an unseemly controversy on social media by alleging that she lost a chance to win a bronze medal at the Hangzhou Games because of a ‘transgender’ athlete – also from India – only to delete her tweet two hours later on Monday morning.
Swapna, who couldn’t defend her title after finishing fourth here on Sunday – just four points behind Telangana athlete Nandini Agasara in women’s heptathlon – made the startling allegation hours after the latter left the Athletes Village for India.
In a post on X, Swapna wrote: “I have lost my Asian Games bronze medal to a transgender woman. I want my medal back as it is against the rules of our athletics. Help me and support me please.”
A top Athletics Federation of India official termed Swapna’s allegation ‘baseless’ and said she would be asked to explain her conduct after reaching India.
“It’s not good for the country’s image that a fellow Indian is accusing her teammate of being a transgender athlete. Rather than appreciating her achievement, she is making a baseless charge. Swapna will have to explain her behaviour.” Nandini too expressed her anguish over the issue and questioned the timing of the controversy.
“I don’t understand what’s the issue with her (Swapna)? Why didn’t she make the accusation earlier? It’s only when I won the bronze because of my sheer hard work and dedication that she came up with this transgender thing.
This is so unfair. I thank the government and my federation for standing behind me and supporting me,” said Nandini. She won the bronze after totalling 5,712 points while Swapna aggregated 5,708 points. The gold was won by China’s Ninali Zheng, who logged an impressive 6,149 points, while Uzbekistan’s Ekaterina Voronina earned silver with 6,056 points. Speaking to TOI, Swapna said, “I have been training for more than 13 years and I know how much effort it takes to reach the level where I am today. Nandini started training only four months back.
How could she win a medal, that too, at the level of Asian Games? I doubt her gender and want the federation to look into the matter.” As per World Athletics regulations which came into effect from March 31 this year, the world body has banned trans female athletes who have been through male puberty from participating in female elite level competitions.

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