1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Caster Semenya loses appeal against IAAF testosterone rules

Discussion in 'Personal' started by nomad, May 1, 2019.

  1. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    And yet it's not as simple as that...as Andy Bull explains:


    It is its conclusion, but it is not going to be the conclusion. Semenya’s legal team are considering whether or not to launch an appeal, and already all the many people on her side of the divide are busy picking holes in the verdict. Because, while Cas did manage to come down on one side, the summary also contained a lot of holes, quibbles and caveats. It made it clear Cas has very real doubts about the practical application of the same regulations it has decided for in principle, worrying in particular about the lack of “concrete evidence” to support the IAAF’s case at 1500m and a mile, and suggests that the IAAF defers the rule at those distances until it has more proof for it.

    Which means Cas is satisfied that the IAAF has proven its case in one of Semenya’s events, the 800m, but not the other, the 1500m. Cas also agrees with the IAAF that these regulations are a “living document” and will be subject to amendment, saying that if Semenya can show the regulations are too hard to comply with – if, for instance, there are too many negative side-effects – it may even change its mind about whether the IAAF’s discriminatory policy is proportionate or not.

    The sport demands a clear answer, the court has tried to provide it, but the truth is that even now, life is not so tidy, and the case remains a mess of irreconcilable contradictions.
  2. Toomuchtooyoung

    Toomuchtooyoung Occasional commenter

    A while ago R4 had a piece discussing this, and I must admit it was far from clear cut and comments from a Dr made me really think, as someone earlier commented, this Dr said asked if we should suppress growth hormone in teenage Basketball players who were unusually tall and still growing ?
    FrankWolley likes this.
  3. kittylion

    kittylion Established commenter

    I had been wondering about this - thanks for the information. How is this supposed to be fair? Also it isn't just about testosterone is it - transgender women who have gone through male puberty will have other advantages too.
    vannie and grumpydogwoman like this.
  4. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    Apparently so
    BetterNow likes this.
  5. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I can remember some of the Russian athletes of the past.... Irena and Tamara Press come to mind.... throwers in athletic events, who, the minute sex testing was introduced, disappeared from the athletics scene never too re-emerge.
    Speaking as a long time proponent of female sport..... we have enough to contend with without having biological males competing in female sport. As for very tall ectomorphs taking part in high Jump, basketball etc. that is just down to physiological differences. They can't help their body shape nor have they taken anything to advance their physical shape. Taking drugs to increase muscle strength etc is another matter entirely and is catered for by drug testing.
    BetterNow, vannie and smoothnewt like this.
  6. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Semenya is being told to take drugs to be allowed to compete.... Her advantages are as natural as a very tall basketball player's height.
  7. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    But she fails to meet the sex criteria to compete as a woman.
    BetterNow, Ellakits and HelenREMfan like this.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I refer you to post #32.
  9. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    No.... this athlete has XY chromosomes - makes it a male genetically never mind how brought up. The very tall basketball player is completely natural !!! That is the difference. I cannot help my physiology considering my genes.... I have always been very tall with big (enormous) feet. The feet gave me an advantage swimming....
  10. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    As she was born how she is, Semenya is 'completely natural' as well.
  11. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    That was then, this is now. Sporting bodies are having to make difficult decisions on who is permitted to compete in women's events.
  12. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I do not understand why sex identification is a difficult problem for so many agencies & individuals, has there been a global, catastrophic drop in intelligence? Go with the chromosomes, every time a distinction needs to be made between men and women.
    BetterNow likes this.
  13. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    There is a conflict beween gender and sex. Anyone formally recognised by the state as a woman expects to be admitted to women only competitions (and other things)
  14. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Where that person was previously recognised as a man then their expectation should not be met.
    BetterNow, dunnocks and Ellakits like this.
  15. Ellakits

    Ellakits Senior commenter

    Caster Semenya’s XY status has been known since 2009.

    It’s a long read, but worth finishing: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/11/30/eitheror

    Despite knowing she is biologically male, Caster Semenya didn’t cheat - the IAAF regulations set levels for XY athletes to compete as women.

    In other words, biological males are allowed to compete in races designed for biological females providing they lower their testosterone to levels some three or four times higher than that of biological women.

    Allowed, yes, but fair...?
    nomad likes this.
  16. Ellakits

    Ellakits Senior commenter

    It isn’t.
    Even the lower level of 5 is around 2 to 4 times higher than that in XX women.
    But, shhh! We’re not supposed to mention that!
    nomad likes this.
  17. Ellakits

    Ellakits Senior commenter

    You could say that about all XY men.

    Are you suggesting they should have the right to compete against women in women’s races?
    BetterNow and nomad like this.
  18. Ellakits

    Ellakits Senior commenter

    I’ll qualify that further.

    When Caster Semenya was required to lower her testosterone levels her performance dropped dramatically.

    She is therefore not insensitive to androgens.

    She may have partial insensitivity (PAIS), but it’s more likely that she has 5-alpha reductase deficiency (5-ard).

    Either of these conditions are sex developmental disorders which affect XY individuals - biological males.
    BetterNow and nomad like this.
  19. Ellakits

    Ellakits Senior commenter

    Chromosomal testing was considered too intrusive and potentially upsetting for the athletes, so instead they were tested on their testosterone levels.

    Where this is higher than the expected range for a woman, they may be required to undergo a physical exam or have their chromosomes tested.

    It seems that Semenya underwent both of these further tests.

    According to the leaked (but not denied) results in 2009, Caster Semenya lacks both ovaries and a uterus, yet has undescended testicles.

    This means that the IAAF regard her as biologically male.

    However, the lack of external male genitalia (she may well have an undeveloped or micro penis which looks like an enlarged clitoris) means that her parents thought she was female when she was born.

    It is also why she is able to compete as a women against women in women’s athletics.

    The only stipulation the IAAF required of her is that she lowers her testosterone to within its permitted levels for XY athletes who are deemed to have disorders of sexual development, and who compete as women.

    They do not actually require her to be biologically female.

    So no, Frank, there is nothing in the IAAF test results that ‘proves she is female’. Partly because that is not required by the IAAF regulations, and partly because she blatantly isn’t.
    BetterNow and nomad like this.
  20. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    According to the BBC news tonight, with the Tokyo Olympics fast approaching, the IOC is likely to put into place similar rules for trans-gender athletes too.
    BetterNow and Ellakits like this.

Share This Page