India's ace sprinter Dutee Chand, who won a silver medal in the Asian Games in 2018, has been in the news lately. She became India's first ever athlete to admit she's in a same-sex relationship. Her soulmate is a girl from her hometown of Chaka Gopalpur.
Recently, at a press conference in Bhubaneswar, Dutee revealed that she was blackmailed by her sister to reveal her sexual identity. Chand said, "I was being mentally tortured. I was being blackmailed by my elder sister, Saraswati Chand. Everybody, including the villagers and the girl’s family, all knew about my relationship. But my sister used to always threaten that she’d make it public. One or two months ago, she asked me for Rs 25 lakhs and threatened to make my relationship public if I refused. I was nervous, I thought my fans would hate me."
Chand also lashed out at the media for invading her partner's privacy and revealing her identity. She said, "I had not revealed the name, identity or photographs of my partner. But many media houses have made her photo viral, got bites of her parents and revealed her name and address. Who gave them that right?"
While the Odisha-born athlete is getting recognition for her spectacular performance in sports but her journey hasn't been as smooth. In 2014, she was dropped from India's Commonwealth Games contingent for being ineligible to compete as a female athlete due to hyperandrogenism policy of the world athletics body (IAAF).
She fought a case against the IAAF policy on hyperandrogenism at the Court of Arbitration (CAS) and won it.
Chand said, "2014 was very tough for me, I had prepared a lot of CWG but four days before the event, I was thrown out of the team. It was very tough and then it was said that I wasn't a girl and it felt really bad but then I fought a case with the support of my family."
Orissa government announced a Rs 3 crore cash reward for the athlete who became an overnight sensation after putting in years of hard work on the track.
What a journey!
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