Bernadus Wijayaka, Jakarta – Aprilia Manganang, once was the key player in the Indonesian women's volleyball team, was confirmed to be a man on Tuesday after he underwent surgery.
Aprilia, 28, has sparked controversy during international competitions before with rivaling teams raising suspicion about his gender judged by his physical appearance.
After winning national volleyball competition Proliga with Popsivo team in 2018 and joined a Thai club for a brief tournament in the following year, he resigned from the sport last year to focus on his job as a second sergeant at the army.
Aprilia also was included in the national team during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
Army Chief of Staff General Andika Perkasa made the shock revelation at a news conference, saying that Aprilia was born with hypospadias – an abnormality of penile development.
"He wasn't as lucky as all of us, because he was born with abnormality, which in the medical term is called hypospadias," Andika said at the Army Headquarters in Central Jakarta.
Aprilia was called from his unit in the North Sulawesi capital of Manado for thorough medical checkup in Jakarta last month.
Andika said the Indonesian Military intends to provide all the support for Aprilia, who has repeatedly acknowledged that he felt something wrong with his body and that he was different from all other women.
Aprilia was admitted to Gatot Soebroto Army Hospital, where he underwent surgery. For a man with hypospadias, the opening of the urethra is not located at the tip of the penis, making it difficult to urinate while standing like a normal man.
That might have led Aprilia's parents to believe that he was a woman and he grew up with that mistaken belief.
"He was very excited and underwent all the medical procedures using all necessary equipment that we have," Andika said.
The urological and hormonal checkups confirmed that Aprilia is completely a man, Andika added.
The surgery was conducted twice because Aprilia's case was the serious one, he said.
"The surgery went on as planned and he is recovering. But he has yet to be discharged now," Andika said.
Andika then used a video call to greet Aprilia who waved his hand from the hospital room.