Pinki Pramanik, a gold medalist at the 2006 Asian Games, was arrested on charges of 'rape' and allegations that she is actually 'male'.
The police said Pramanik was arrested on Thursday morning after a woman lodged a complaint of rape with the Baguiati police station in North 24-Parganas district.
"The complaint stated that the woman athlete was a male and has been cohabiting with her for the past several months with a promise to marry her, but later denied," a top official of the Baguiati police station said.
The official said the athlete had also taken money from the victim.
He said a medical check-up in a government-run hospital will be done on Pramanik after which she will be produced in a court.
The Eastern Railway middle-distance runner had won a 4x400m relay gold in the 2006 Doha Asiad and a silver in the same event at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Pramanik bagged three gold medals in the 2006 SAF Games in Colombo, winning the 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay.
Meanwhile, an official of the Athletics Federation of India said that Pramanik will be stripped off the medals if it is proved that she is male.
In an earlier incident, Pramanik was arrested under the Arms Act from Habibpur Nathpara village in Nadia district on November 22, 2004, when local boys, who snatched a bag from her, informed the police that a revolver was found in it.
Meanwhile, the Athletics Federation of India said it will wait for the medical report and police investigation before taking any action on the athlete.
AFI secretary C K Valson said the federation would wait for the result of the medical report of Pramanik and inform the IAAF if she turns out to be a male, as alleged in the complaint.