She was talking to reporters after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi honoured four sportspersons from the state with cash awards for their medal winning feat in the Asian Games.
Apart from presenting a cheque of Rs 15 Lakh for her silver-winning effort at Doha, the Chief Minister also handed over a ''Plasma'' TV set to Shanthi following reports that her parents, hailing from Kathakkurichi Village in Pudukkottai District, could not watch their daughter winning the silver medal as they did not have one.
Refusing to be drawn into any controversy, she said ''I am still the winner in the 800 m event. I have not received any official communication so far''.
Indian GM Sasikiran Krishnan, Long Jumper Anju George and Squash Player Saurav Ghoshal were also presented Rs 20 lakh, Rs 15 lakh and Rs ten lakh respectively for winning gold, silver and bronze at the Asiad.
Official sources said that while presenting the award, Mr Karunanidhi asked her whether she was confident about her gender and Shanthi replied in the affirmative.
Sports and Youth Welfare Minister T P M Mohideen Khan told reporters that as far as government was concerned no official communication had been received on Shanthi failing a gender test at Doha. ''The Chief Minister had announced the award immediately after Shanthi won the medal. Why should we stop giving it. The cash award has been given on humanitarian grounds'', he said and added that she had not committed any mistake.
''It was for the Chief Minister to take a decision'', Mr Mohideen Khan said when asked whether the government would take back the awards if Shanthi was stripped off her medal.
International Technical official C K Valson, who is also the Joint Secretary of Tamil Nadu Athletics Association (TNAA), told UNI that ''If Shanti had failed the test, she cannot participate in any international meet for the next two years. She cannot go on an appeal either as per the rules for the period,'' ''We have not received any official communique so far. We also came to know about it only through the media. The Olympic Council in Doha has to convey it to the Indian Olympic Association which in turn will inform the Athletics Federation of India (AFI). The AFI will then inform its state unit,'' he said.
Mr Valson said she could go on appeal after two years following surgery and hormone therapy and could compete again in international meets after getting clearances.
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