Social media has erupted in outrage after a prominent Indian athlete accused a fellow Asian Games contestant from India of being transgender after the former lost her medal to the latter. The sensational ‘transgender’ allegation was made by heptathlon athlete, Swapna Barman, who finished fourth in the competition in the Asian Games 2023. The Bronze medal was won by another Indian, Nandini Agasara.
However, Swapna stunned everyone by taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, to allege that Nandini was a transgender and, therefore, was not eligible to compete in the event.
She wrote in her deleted post, “I have lost my Asian Games bronze medal to a transgender woman at the 19th Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China. I want my medal back as it is against the rules of our Athletics. Help me and support me please.”
According to reports, Nandini flew back to after Swapna’s sensational allegation citing poor health of her mother. This, her critics say, was to avoid testing in light of Swapna’s allegation.
In the heptathlon event, China’s Nanali Zheng secured gold with 6149 points, Uzbekistan’s Ekaterina Voronina took silver with 6056 points, India’s Nandini Agasara claimed bronze with 5712 points, & Swapna Barman finished fourth with 5708 points.
The controversy has divided opinions on social media. User Smitha Nair wrote, “Heptathlete Swapna Barman appears to have deleted her tweet making(a rather wild) allegation that compatriot Nandini Agasara is transgender & therefore robbed her of a medal. If she knew this supposed fact, why ws no complain made to AFI, world athletics, OCA when N made the team. (sic)”
User Subham wrote, “Genuine question : how will swapna barman prove the bronze medal winner is transgender? Is there any ground? If not Swapna barman will face legal consequences?”
Another user, Beikey, wrote, “Transgender should be allowed to participate in the sport with the gender which they are born to. They are physically built differently. This wokism needs to go, otherwise one day it will disadvantage original women.”
According to new rules enforced by the World Athletics on 31 March this year, an athlete who reached ‘male puberty’ is barred from competing in female world ranking events.