Discriminatory IAAF Rule to Monitor Female Athletes’ Testosterone Levels

The British Medical Journal has released a study stating that the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) rule requiring women track runners with five nanomoles per liter of testosterone in them to take hormonal treatment is not scientifically accurate. The IAAF have delayed the implementation of this rule after a South African runner, Caster Semenya, filed a lawsuit against the rule.

Dr. Sheree Bekker from the University of Bath and Prof. Cara Tannenbaum from the University of Montreal have both written in an editorial that the “medical profession does not define biological sex or physical function by serum testosterone levels alone.” They argue that testosterone levels vary among men and women athletes, with elite athletes having higher averages and that this is a means to police women’s bodies.

This comes after the controversy last year when Serena Williams was drug tested more often than any of her competitors. Williams’ talent continuously comes into question, resulting in her often being drug tested for reasons she believes are discriminatory.

Media Resources: BBC 3/21/19; The Guardian 3/20/19; Washington Post 7/27/18

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