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Take drugs or race men: IAAF to women with high testosterone levels

Olympic 800m champion Mokgadi Caster Semenya is expected to be among those affected by the new rules on high testosterone levels in women. Photo: Getty Images
IAAF president Sebastian N. Coe said the revised rules are not about cheating - they are about levelling the playing field to ensure fair and meaningful competition. Photo: Wikipedia
IAAF president Sebastian N. Coe said the revised rules are not about cheating - they are about levelling the playing field to ensure fair and meaningful competition. Photo: Wikipedia
PRETORIA, South Africa- Some female runners with naturally high testosterone levels will have to race against men or change events unless they take medication, under new rules issued by athletics' governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The rules, which start on November 1, 2018, would apply to women who race in track events from 400m up to the mile, according to the BBC on April 27, 2018.

The IAAF believes the new measures will stop women with high testosterone levels gaining a competitive advantage.

Olympic 800m champion Mokgadi Caster Semenya is expected to be among those affected.

The South African runner has previously been asked to undertake gender testing by athletics chiefs but no results have ever officially been made public.

Similar restrictions brought in by athletics' world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, were suspended following a legal challenge by the Indian sprinter Dutee Chand in 2015.

"The revised rules are not about cheating - they are about levelling the playing field to ensure fair and meaningful competition," IAAF president Sebastian N. Coe said.

"We want athletes to be incentivised to make the huge commitment and sacrifice required to excel in the sport."

What do the new rules say?

The rules for athletes who have 'differences of sexual development' apply to the 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 1500m, one mile races and combined events over the same distances.

However, 100m, 200m and 100m hurdles are exempt, as are races longer than one mile and field events.

Female athletes affected must take medication for six months before they can compete, and then maintain a lower testosterone level.

The IAAF statement said that the rules are "in no way intended as any kind of judgement on or questioning of the sex or the gender identity of any athlete".

It pointed to their latest research which showed there is a performance advantage for females with higher testosterone over the track distances.

Semenya, then 18, was asked to take a gender test shortly before she won the 800m at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

The results were not released - although there were media reports that her test had revealed male and female characteristics - and Semenya was cleared to return in July 2010.

Indian sprinter Chand became the first athlete to challenge the IAAF's policy around so-called gender tests and naturally high testosterone levels in female athletes in 2015.

As an 18-year-old, Chand was given a hormone test, and found out from reading the press that her natural levels of the hormone testosterone were normally only found in men.

She successfully challenged her subsequent ban, which led to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) suspending the IAAF's "hyperandrogenism" rules for two years.

Research commissioned by the IAAF in July 2017 found that female athletes with high testosterone levels had a "competitive advantage".

However, critics of the governing body have said its stance is discriminatory, and highlighted the possible psychological effects on those who have to take the tests.

8 Responses to “Take drugs or race men: IAAF to women with high testosterone levels”

  • 123 (28/04/2018, 14:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    hummmmmm
  • jack (28/04/2018, 16:05) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply

    Ef**ng wh**e pexpletive.

  • Legal challenge (28/04/2018, 16:48) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    This is discrimination...sports is all about ones natural ability. This is discrimination against those women's natural biology whose testosterone are higher. Is it their fault?! This is so idiotic...so those women have double discrimination. Sack the idiot who caused the change in rules.
    • ??? (28/04/2018, 20:07) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      It's clearly targeted discrimination as well since it only applies to certain events and not all. The same events where they feel an advantage is being had...
    • BULL CRAP (28/04/2018, 21:05) Like (2) Dislike (9) Reply
      You talking bull crap! It is not no discrimination because the next thing you will see coming forward is that gays and lesbians, and transgenders will want a say on this also. To prevent all of this crap it is the BEST move yet. All these men who wanna be women and all these women who wanna be men will now have to face the challenge base on their testosterone level and take gender out.

      Finally some one have sense to level the playing field.

      It's already happening in our professional group sports including coaches and referees so on with the show.

      For you women who think you wear the pants and could beat men well put your "balls" aka Testosterone where your mouths are and bring it on and vice versa for the wanna be men to women who think they wear the skirt better than a woman.
  • NezRez (28/04/2018, 17:30) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is totally outrages! Making a person take a drug to lessen their testosterone levels? They are out of their fuming minds. First they say drug enhancing is not allowed, and now when a person superceed naturally, they want them to take drugs to make them slower. I would fight against this stupid ass trying to enforce this sht. Next thing you know these young women will have all kinds of health problems. Tell these asses to give it to their family members. HELL NO! Enough discrimination already!
  • Jessica Jones (28/04/2018, 23:09) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    What $h!t I'm reading hete? This is what we come to know? SMH.
  • Street reporter (29/04/2018, 04:28) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    They make a simple matter sounds so complicated just simply say " Athletes will compete in a grouping of their "at birth registered Gender"


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