Sport

New testosterone rules set to impact on Caster Semenya

New testosterone rules set to impact on Caster Semenya

In detailing the new eligibility regulations, the IAAF have outlined both their need and also their objective, and which under Competition Rule 141, will come into effect on November 1st of this year. These distances, which synthesize the need for speed, power and endurance, are events in which raised testosterone levels can have the most profound influence on performances, the sport's top officials say.

These women would be allowed to compete in national competitions from the 400m up to 1600m in male or "intersex" classified races without the limitations of the new regulations.

South African middle-distance athlete Caster Semenya might be forced to compete in longer distance dashes.

The research found that female athletes with high testosterone had a "significant competitive advantage", particularly in the 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, hammer throw and pole vault, but the IAAF has made a decision to initially focus on track events, although it has described the rules as a "living document".

The International Association of Athletics Federations revealed in March that it hoped to reinstate a revised version of its controversial hyperandrogenism rules by 1 November. Absent a DSD or a tumour, no female would have serum levels of testosterone approaching 5 nmol/L, but individuals with DSDs can have very high levels of natural testosterone, extending into and even beyond the normal male range.




Hyperandrogenism is a medical condition characterised by excessive levels of androgens ("male" sex hormones such as testosterone) in the female body.

Even a small edge can mean the difference between a gold, silver or bronze medal, or finishing off the podium entirely, in events decided by tenths or hundredths of a second, the IAAF said.

However‚ the regulations‚ expected to be confirmed on Thursday‚ may end up in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), should Semenya challenge them.

Athletes must take medication to lower testosterone levels in order to participate in races.


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