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Caster Semenya loses appeal against IAAF testosterone rules

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

  1. Ellakits

    Ellakits Established commenter

    Thanks Nomad.

    However, Semenya does not have CAIS, as there is a noticeable response to testosterone, shown by a decline in performance a few years ago when taking drugs to limit T levels. PAIS (partial, as opposed to total) is a possibility though. What is apparent, looking at Semenya’s physique, is that this is an individual who has gone through testosterone induced male puberty.

    The ruling which Semenya was appealing against lists specific conditions which are covered, namely:

    (a) A Relevant Athlete is an athlete who meets each of the following three criteria:
    (i) she has one of the following DSDs:
    (A) 5α‐reductase type 2 deficiency;
    (B) partial androgen insensitivity syndrome (PAIS);
    (C) 17β‐hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 3 (17β‐ HSD3) deficiency;
    (D) congenital adrenal hyperplasia;
    (E) 3β‐hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency;
    (F) ovotesticular DSD; or
    (G) any other genetic disorder involving disordered gonadal steroidogenesis

    AND
    (ii) as a result, she has circulating testosterone levels in blood of five (5) nmol/L or above

    AND
    (iii) she has sufficient androgen sensitivity for those levels of testosterone to have a material androgenising effect


    So in order to be covered by this regulation Caster Semenya MUST:
    1) be XY (biologically male)
    2) have a recognised disorder of sexual development affecting male genitalia
    3) have a demonstrable response to androgens (so not CAIS)
    4) have a natural testosterone level above 5nmol/l (a figure some 3x that of XX women)

    The relevant regulations are here:
    http://www.femede.es/documentos/IAA...7wHiYZtYstBOhCr4AFNXqWCwX33JxJ6Vx2Z1vDe9EAxNs

    What I find astounding is that I can find those regulations and can see that to be covered by them Semenya must be a biological male, yet that is a task which is wholly beyond reporters working across various forms of the national media.

    Now, I wonder why that is...?
     
    nomad likes this.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter


    Maybe search out the interview R4 had today with Martina Navratilova on this subject....or don't you regard her as a woman?o_O
     
  3. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Date I suggest prejudice??

    :confused:

    And, perhaps, ignorance??

    :(
     
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I think we may need a better definition of 'woman' first?
     
  5. Ellakits

    Ellakits Established commenter

    We have been segregating people with Caster Senenya’s ‘naturally occurring genetic advantage’ from women’s sport for years - they’re called ‘men’.

    By your logic we should do away with men’s and women’s sporting divisions and just have one ‘open’ category.

    Care to take a guess at how many women would be eligible to participate based on performance rankings?
     
    vannie and blazer like this.
  6. Ellakits

    Ellakits Established commenter

    Ignorance may well play a part, but when a purportedly science programme gets in on it too, I begin to suspect wilful deception.
     
    nomad likes this.
  7. Ellakits

    Ellakits Established commenter

    @FrankWolley Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, you doggedly cling to your position on this. It’s beginning to make you sound like a flat earther.

    The IAAF states that two classes of people are eligible to run in the women’s category - biological women and legal women.

    In order for a legal woman (ie: a man) to compete as s woman, the individual has to lower testosterone to below 5nmol/l.

    A biological woman faces no such restrictions.

    The reason given for this ruling is because they determine the main reason men have a physical advantage over women is due to effects of testosterone on their bodies.

    Allowing a biological man / legal woman to compete against biological women would therefore confer an unfair advantage on the legal woman over the biological woman, which no individual in the class of biological women could ever have.

    At this point you need to remember that the CAS/IAAF ruling is based upon investigations and examinations they have undertaken. I would therefore posit that they are in a better position to determine which of their two classes of ‘woman’ Semenya fits into than you are.

    In their Executive Summary, CAS make it clear that Semenya is allowed to run in the catergiry ‘woman’ due to being a ‘legal woman’ rather than a ‘biological woman’.

    In other words, Caster Semenya is a biological man.

    https://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/CAS_Executive_Summary__5794_.pdf
     
    nomad likes this.
  8. Ellakits

    Ellakits Established commenter

    From the Executive Summary (link in my last post above):

    3. In Chand, the CAS had determined that the hormone testosterone was the primary cause for the increase in lean body mass in males at puberty and that this provided athletic advantage to male athletes over female athletes.

    6. During the course of the proceedings before the CAS, the IAAF explained that, following an amendment to the DSD Regulations, the DSD covered by the Regulations are limited to “46 XY DSD” – i.e. conditions where the affected individual has XY chromosomes. Accordingly, no individuals with XX chromosomes are subjected to any restrictions or eligibility conditions under the DSD Regulations.

    7. Athletes with 46 XY DSD have testosterone levels well into the male range. The DSD Regulations require athletes with 46 XY DSD who have a natural testosterone level of above 5 nmol/L, and who experience a “material androgenizing effect” from that enhanced testosterone level, to reduce their natural testosterone level to within the normal female range (i.e. to a level below 5 nmol/L) and to maintain that reduced level for a continuous period of at least six months in order to be eligible to compete in a Restricted Event at an International Competition. There is no requirement for, or suggestion of, any surgical intervention to achieve this level.

    12. ...Put simply, on one hand is the right of every athlete to compete in sport, to have their legal sex and gender identity respected, and to be free from any form of discrimination. On the other hand, is the right of female athletes, who are relevantly biologically disadvantaged vis- à-vis male athletes, to be able to compete against other female athletes and to achieve the benefits of athletic success.

    17. The Panel begins its consideration of this question by observing that once it is recognises that it is legitimate to have separate categories of male and female competition, it inevitably follows that it is necessary to devise an objective, fair and effective means of determining which individuals may, and which may not, participate in those categories.

    18. The Panel accepts the IAAF’s submission that reference to a person’s legal sex alone may not always constitute a fair and effective means of making that determination. This is because the reason for the separation between male and female categories in competitive athletics is ultimately founded on biology rather than legal status. The purpose of having separate categories is to protect a class of individuals who lack certain insuperable performance advantages from having to compete against individuals who possess those insuperable advantages. In this regard, the fact that a person is recognised in law as a woman and identifies as a woman does not necessarily mean that they lack those insuperable performance advantages associated with certain biological traits that predominate in individuals who are generally (but not always) recognised in law as males and self-identify as males. It is human biology, not legal status or gender identity, that ultimately determines which individuals possess the physical traits which give rise to that insuperable advantage and which do not.

    19. Accordingly, the purpose of the male-female divide in competitive athletics is not to protect athletes with a female legal sex from having to compete against athletes with a male legal sex. Nor is it to protect athletes with a female gender identity from having to compete against athletes with a male gender identity. Rather, it is to protect individuals whose bodies have developed in a certain way following puberty from having to compete against individuals who, by virtue of their bodies having developed in a different way following puberty, possess certain physical traits that create such a significant performance advantage that fair competition between the two groups is not possible. In most cases, the former group comprises individuals with a female legal sex and a female gender identity, while the latter group comprises individuals with a male legal sex and male gender identity. However, this is not true of all cases. ...

    20. The Panel considers that, once it is recognised that the reason for organising competitive athletics into separate male and female categories rests on the need to protect one group of individuals against having to compete against individuals who possess certain insuperable performance advantages derived from biology rather than legal status, it follows that it may be legitimate to regulate the right to participate in the female category by reference to those biological factors rather than legal status alone.
     
    nomad and vannie like this.
  9. Ellakits

    Ellakits Established commenter

    @FrankWolley, to be clear, the ruling states that they are aware that a person’s legal sex may be quite different from their biological sex, but that biological sex must always be the determinant of fair competition.

    Caster Semenya (and all other athletes coming under this ruling) are referred to as ‘women’ throughout, because this is how they are legally recognised.

    I accept that this may then cause confusion to some people when trying to understand the details of the ruling, but the use of the term stands because it is the group of people into which these individuals legally fall due to possession of the relevant paperwork.

    Here again, with emphasis:

    18. The Panel accepts the IAAF’s submission that reference to a person’s legal sex alone may not always constitute a fair and effective means of making that determination. This is because the reason for the separation between male and female categories in competitive athletics is ultimately founded on biology rather than legal status. The purpose of having separate categories is to protect a class of individuals who lack certain insuperable performance advantages from having to compete against individuals who possess those insuperable advantages. In this regard, the fact that a person is recognised in law as a woman and identifies as a woman does not necessarily mean that they lack those insuperable performance advantages associated with certain biological traits that predominate in individuals who are generally (but not always) recognised in law as males and self-identify as males. It is human biology, not legal status or gender identity, that ultimately determines which individuals possess the physical traits which give rise to that insuperable advantage and which do not.
     
    nomad likes this.
  10. Ellakits

    Ellakits Established commenter

    22. The IAAF submitted that all but one of the many different factors that contribute to sport performance - including training, coaching, nutrition and medical support, as well as many genetic variations - are equally available to men and women. The only factor that is available only to men is exposure to adult male testosterone levels. The IAAF submitted that if the purpose of the female category is to prevent athletes who lack that testosterone-derived advantage from having to compete against athletes who possess that testosterone-derived advantage, then it is necessarily “category defeating” to permit any individuals who possess that testosterone-derived advantage to compete in that category. The majority of the Panel accepts the logic of the IAAF’s submission.
     
    nomad likes this.
  11. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    I suspect it is politics. They are terrified of upsetting certain influential groups so they steer clear of stating what is obvious.
     
    nomad and newposter like this.
  12. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I feel very sorry for poor Caster Semenya. It must feel very uncomfortable for her to be discussed in this way.
     
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I actually like that idea of @LondonCanary

    A bit like the Golf Club. Let the members decide. Science can't tell us. It's an entirely subjective judgement.
     
  14. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    I completely agree

    Would we discuss people with serious medical conditions which causes levels of testosterone to rise or fall in this way? Or indeed, judge them on this as thought they are committing some criminal act ?

    Ha, ha that woman is very hairy - she must have very high levels of testosterone - tee, hee ( as well as polycystic ovary syndrome) how hilarious

    Or that man is very hairless - what a turn off - must have really low testosterone levels - or maybe a tumour on the pituitary gland - lol

    Testosterone levels aren’t that straightforward so get over it.
     
  15. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    I don't think people are trying to vilify Semenya because of what nature has given/not given her but the fact is her presence in competition with unambiguous females devalues the competition and makes the whole thing pointless. This is the issue and anyone who claims they don't get this is being deliberately obtuse for the sake of perceived political correctness.
     
  16. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Testosterone levels are typically quite straightforward else women identifying as men would not use it in order to masculinise their appearance.

    I have no idea why so many people cannot accept basic facts of biological science.
     
  17. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Yes, but she has chosen to compete at a high-stakes level. The winners take it all in terms of sponsorship deals potentially worth millions. It is totally understandable that there has been pressure to create a fair and level playing field. The scientific evidence supporting this has been provided more than adequately on this thread. It is a pity for her, but it is the right decision. There will be other intersex athletes who either reduce their testosterone levels or disappear from the 800m / 1500m events, in particular.
     
  18. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter


    With all due respect, those giving the scientific evidence on this thread really don't know the details of Ms Semenya's medical history.
     
    anotherauntsally likes this.
  19. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    What are your arguments for your position on this issue and how do you support these?
     
    nomad likes this.
  20. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    They interviewed him/her on tv last night. She is a man! I reckon she could get sponsored by Gillette!
     
    nomad likes this.

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