IAAF: Semenya can compete with men if she refuses to take suppressants
The IAAF said female athletes with high testosterone levels, such as Caster Semenya, would be welcome to compete with male athletes in the 400m hurdles, 800m and 1,500m.
CAPE TOWN - The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) says the difference of sexual development (DSD) athletes such as Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya can enter men’s athletics events if they refuse to take suppressants to regulate their testosterone levels.
The World Medical Association (WMA) has asked physicians around the world to take no part in implementing the Eligibility Regulations [link] for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development). They cited weak evidence and questioned the validity of the evidence.
In a statement, WMA president Dr Leonid Eidelman, said: “We have strong reservations about the ethical validity of these regulations. They are based on weak evidence from a single study, which is currently being widely debated by the scientific community.
“It is in general considered as unethical for physicians to prescribe treatment for excessive endogenous testosterone if the condition is not recognized as pathological.”
The IAAF responded by saying their methods and reasoning are well thought out and not unethical.
“In 46XY DSD individuals, reducing serum testosterone to female levels by using a contraceptive pill (or other means) is the recognised standard of care for 46XY DSD athletes with female gender identity.
“These medications are gender-affirming. Although not specified in the Regulations, professional psychological counselling to assist the individual with determining gender identity prior to recommending treatment is also the standard of medical care for these conditions,” IAAF said.
Importantly, the IAAF said that female athletes with high testosterone levels, such as Semenya, would be welcome to compete with male athletes in the 400m hurdles, 800m and 1,500m and mile if they’re not comfortable with taking suppressants for their testosterone levels.
“In any case, it is the athlete’s right to decide (in consultation with their medical team) whether or not to proceed with an assessment and/or treatment. If she decides not to do so, she will not be entitled to compete in the female classification of any Restricted Event at an International Competition (see clauses 2.5 and 2.6 of the Regulations).
However, she would still be entitled to compete:
in the female classification:
at any competition that is not an International Competition: in any event, without restriction; and
at International Competitions: in any discipline other than track events between 400m and a mile; or
in the male classification: at any competition at any level, in any discipline, without restriction; or
in any ‘intersex’ (or similar) classification that the event organiser may offer at any competition at any level, in any discipline, without restriction.