Dutee Says She Was Diagnosed With Cancer

Sprinter stopped taking medicines after “15-20” days as she started feeling better

Dutee Chand

From the highs of becoming India’s top sprinter and winning Asian Games silver medals to failing dope tests, life has rarely been a straight and smooth line for Dutee Chand. And now comes another shocking revelation. In November 2021, Dutee was told she had level 1 cancer. 

Dutee, who has been banned four years for doping, had looked below-par at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and had not even gone past the preliminary round in the women's 100m and 200m races.  A few months down the line came the deadly diagnosis from Dr Sudeep Satpathy, a professor at the Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) in Bhubaneswar.

"I felt very scary, nervous, thinking what has happened to my life," Dutee, 27, told PTI.

Dutee’s troubles began with a groin injury in 2021.   

"While competing in the National Inter-State Championships before the Tokyo Olympics, I felt a lot of pain in the groin area. I consulted some doctors but the pain did not go. I went to the Olympics (July-August, 2021) and could not do well there," she said.

"After returning from the Olympics, the pain kept increasing. I did an ultrasound in November 2021. Nothing came in the ultrasound. 

"Then I got an MRI scan done and the doctor (Sudeep Satpathy) told me that a level 1 testicular cancer attack has begun. He said I have to quit sport otherwise it will get worse.

She added,  "I am having testosterone hormone imbalance, so it could be from there. The groin pain was increasing slowly. Everybody was saying it's groin pain but the doctor said cancer attack can happen if it (the pain) continues."

Eight years ago in 2015, Dutee had famously won a case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the World Athletics governing body's policy on hyperandrogenism, or high natural levels of testosterone in women. 

Dutee said she has not tested for cancer again, as the pain subsided after she took medicines for “15-20 days” after the first diagnosis.  

"At that time, the doctor (Satpathy) said it's level 1 cancer attack. There was a lot of pain at that time."But after taking medicine for 15-20 days, the pain subsided, there was recovery. I did not do any other medical test because I was feeling all right, not much of pain. Then, I gave this sample to NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) and then came the dope positive result.”