Agence France-Presse is reporting that Indian runner Pinki Pramanik, a member of her country’s gold-medal winning 4×400 relay team at the 2006 Asian Games, “was remanded in custody for 14 days” as she’s about to stand trial for allegedly raping her female partner. But according to the supposed victim, Pinki’s not a lesbian—she’s a man!
“Pinki poses as a woman but is actually a man,” the victim was quoted as saying in Friday’s Calcutta Telegraph. “She would assault me regularly and raped me several times.”
But the former world-class athlete tells a different story. “She has brought false charges against me as I refused to give her 300,000 rupees ($5,400),” Pramanik told reporters from the back of a police van. Sounds like this could be India’s answer to the John Travolta massagecapades or Justin Bieber’s “first time”—another case of someone exploiting a celebrity for a big payoff.
Or is it? “We don’t know whether it was a case of being male physically or hormonal change over a period of time which can happen,” Athletics Federation of India secretary C.K. Valson told the Press Trust of India news agency. The AFP also notes “Gender controversies are often caused by Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) when females have male physical characteristics or Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), when someone is genetically male but their genitals may appear to be female.” And here I thought AIS was an insurance company…
In any case, this tabloid-selling saga isn’t bound to affect India’s chances for a medal in London. Pramanik retired from competition in 2007.