Ruling protecting integrity of women’s and girls’ sports to be challenged

May 20, 2019 by

by Carys Moseley, Christian Concern:

The International Association of Athletics Federations recently introduced new rules on testosterone levels for female runners. This rule largely affects those with intersex conditions, such as the 800 meters women’s Olympic champion, Caster Semenya. However, Athletics South Africa is now set to appeal this ruling. Carys Moseley comments on the situation and explains why the ruling is necessary.

Athletics South Africa is to appeal a recent ruling by the Court of Appeal for Sport against Caster Semenya, the 800 meters women’s Olympic champion, which required athletes with Disorders of Sexual Development (also called Differences of Sexual Development or ‘intersex’ conditions) to reduce their testosterone levels. Caster Semenya had lost an appeal against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) over its new rules on testosterone levels for female runners. The Court of Appeal for Sport said that these rules were discriminatory but that this was “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” to protect female sports competitors.

Why is the press hiding the fact that Semenya is a genetic male?

A few days after news of the ruling broke, the IAAF said that Semenya would be allowed to compete in any men’s competitions. Significantly, this was not reported in any of the main UK press outlets – a problem given that the real question here is the genetic sex of the athlete. Caster Semenya first came to international attention in 2009 for winning the women’s 800 metres in the World Championships. News of a gender test, made due to suspicions about unusually high levels of testosterone, was leaked to the press. There has been a running battle over Semenya’s status as a female athlete between the IAAF and the South African government ever since.

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