UN hits out at IAAF plan to classify female athletes by testosterone levels

South Africa’s Olympic 800-meter champion Caster Semenya is challenging the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) over its bid to restrict levels of testosterone in female runners.

The International Association of Athletics Federations. Picture: IAAF.org

JOHANNESBURG - The United Nations (UN) Humans Rights Council has hit out at plans to classify female athletes by their testosterone levels warning it "contravenes international human rights".

South Africa’s Olympic 800-meter champion Caster Semenya is challenging the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) over its bid to restrict levels of testosterone in female runners.

The UN has called the plans "unnecessary, humiliating and harmful".

Under the IAAF rules, female athletes with naturally high testosterone levels would have to race against men or change events unless they took medication to reduce those levels.

The issue was discussed at the UN Human Rights Council's 40th session at which delegates asked for a detailed report to be put together for a future meeting.

In the meantime, the body has now put on record its "concerns" with the IAAF proposals.