Doubts raised over Thai boxer's gender

A FEMALE boxer from Thailand recorded "highly suspicious" levels of testosterone before a world title fight in Melbourne on Friday night, again plunging the sport into controversy.

A FEMALE boxer from Thailand recorded "highly suspicious" levels of testosterone before a world title fight in Melbourne on Friday night, again plunging the sport into controversy.

With women's boxing to be introduced at the Olympics, Thai bantamweight Usanakorn Kokietgym was detected with three times the normal level of testosterone for a woman, amid speculation about her gender.

The 24-year-old had been ordered to undergo hormone testing before fighting the Australian champion, Susie Ramadan, whose trainer, Barry Michael, had accused Usanakorn of punching "harder than most blokes I know".

Ramadan won the brutal, 10-round fight at Flemington's Melbourne Pavilion, confirming her ranking as Australia's greatest female boxer.

After the bout, Usanakorn denied taking anabolic steroids or any other drugs when interviewed by the World Boxing Council secretary, Frank Quill, and two physicians. She also refused blood testing that would have proven her gender.

Mr Quill said a report would be forwarded to the Mexican headquarters of the WBC, which is expected to investigate the allegations.

The Australian Ringside Medicine Association chairman, Peter Lewis, said there were several explanations for Usanakorn's abnormal testosterone results. "There's a possibility that she started off as a man and has taken estrogen. Or we could be dealing with a woman who is pumped up on steroids. Or she could be a hermaphrodite where you have the genes of a male and the body of a female."

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