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SA psychiatry body takes swipe at IAAF plan to amend gender rules

The South African Society of Psychiatrists said the IAAF’s intentions to limit testosterone levels for female athletes was medically unethical and a violation of human rights.

FILE: Caster Semenya. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Society of Psychiatrists has weighed in on the IAAF's intention to amend its gender rules for female athletes.

The international athletics body and South Africa's Caster Semenya have been at loggerheads at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The court is expected to make its decision on whether the IAAF was justified in its intention to amend its gender rules for female athletes with higher testosterone levels at the end of April.

However, the South African Society of Psychiatrists said the IAAF’s intentions to limit testosterone levels for female athletes was medically unethical, a violation of human rights, and failed to recognise the evidence for natural variations in human gender.

The body also said the IAAF was violating the long-standing principle that athletes compete on the basis of natural talent by “imposing an artificial intervention to alter their natural ability”.