Gender Rules In Athletics




Athletics

Athletics

May 1 onwards, the governing athletics body IAAF will be the first sports federation to implement new gender regulations concerning women with hyperandrogenism. The IAAF council decided and approved the rules on Tuesday at a meeting in Daegu, South Korea.

The statement is quoted as “Competition in athletics will continue to be divided into men’s and women’s competition recognizing that there is a difference in sporting performance between elite men and women, that is predominantly due to higher levels of androgenic hormones in men.”

Hyperandrogenism is a medical condition where women have an overproduction of male sex hormones. In sports arena, it could give them a competitive advantage over normal women.

The statement also quotes “A female with hyperandrogenism who is recognized as a female in law shall be eligible to compete in women’s competition in athletics provided that she has androgen levels below the male range (measured by reference to testosterone levels in serum) or, if she has androgen levels within the male range she also has an androgen resistance which means that she derives no competitive advantage from such levels.”

The IAAF has implemented these regulations and plans set up by the International Olympic Committee executive board last week for the 2012 Games in London. Sports Federations have been asked to follow these guidelines.

Gender verification became a debatable issue at the 2009 athletics world championships when South African sprint Caster Semen won the 800m (women) and was ordered to undergo sex examinations because of her muscular appearance and fast-improving results. She was finally cleared to participate again in 2010. The test results were never published by the IAAF. But according to Australian news, reports indicated that she possessed both male and female sex organs.

According to the statement, the affected athletes will have to undergo a confidential three-level medical process to determine their exact condition. On May 1st, modified rules on athletes who have under a sex change from male to female will also be implemented.

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