Saturday, 26 November, 2022

What’s ahead at Jannat’s fate?

The gender controversy issue of javelin thrower Jannat Begum seems to have no ending.

 The Bangladesh Athletics Federation is not showing any interest to solve the matter immediately. Besides, the federation is surrounding a mysterious curtain regarding the matter. In this circumstance, no one knows what’s ahead for Jannat.

Jannat was accused of a transgender after she created a new national record in her discipline in the recently-concluded National Athletics Competition.

Jannat, who represented Bangladesh Army in that competition, broke former javelin thrower Akhirun Nesa’s 25-year-old record of 45.15m after she recorded a distance of 46.6m in the women’s javelin throw discipline.

Later on September 24, Akhirun Nesa and the second-placed javelin thrower Bangladesh Jail’s Nishat Sultana (37.29m) accused Jannat as a transgender and pledged to the BAF President through separate letters so that they rejected the record.

“I’ve tested two times. My first test was held at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and then the federation rechecked my reports. I couldn’t understand my reports but I’m sure I’m a female. I’ve hormonal imbalances which can be solved through hormone therapy. Bangladesh Army will help me to get that treatment,” Jannat told The Daily Sun over the phone on Saturday. 

“If the federation and Army tell me again to do the test, I will do it. If the result comes negative, I don’t know what I will do. I didn’t play in the last Bangladesh Games as the federation told me not to take part.

“They told me that my reports are yet to be rechecked. Now, I’ve no doubt because the government has given me the pass. I have a dream to represent Bangladesh in international competitions -- South Asian Games and Olympics,” she added.

Jannat earlier played for Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) in 2019 and one of the accusers, Akhirun Nesa is an assistant coordination officer at BJMC.

“She (Jannat) hid her gender. Even the federation hasn’t given any clear account of her. They didn’t publish her test reports. She is a transgender and can’t play in women categories,” said Akhirun Nesa.

Both BAF medical officer Dr Moeen Ali and the former Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) team manager Abdul Kuddus said that they didn’t know what was written in the report.

“I didn’t get the report. The federation instructed BJMC to do the test. I just helped them to do a test at BSMMU. I helped to form a medical board including Gynecologists, Medicine Specialists and some others. Either BJMC collected the report or BSMMU directly sent it to the federation. I don’t know about the second test,” said Dr Moeen.

Kuddus said that he only heard that Jannat has more male hormones than female. “Moeen bhai only told us that Jannat has hormonal imbalances. She has more male hormones than women,” said Kuddus.

The controversy can easily be avoided if the BAF published Jannat’s both test reports but the federation is playing a hide and seek game regarding the matter.

The Daily Sun tried to communicate with BAF General Secretary Adv Abdur Rakib Montu several times but couldn’t reach him as he is currently in the USA for personal reasons.