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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Semenya’s return, as well as controversy in athletics

CAPE TOWN ( Associated Press) — Caster Semenya enters this year’s World Championships in Athletics with no chances of winning.

On Wednesday in Eugene, Oregon, the three-time world champion in the 800 meters will run the 5,000 instead of her favorite event.

They are not considered serious candidates for medals. And it’s the first time he began dominating his test more than a decade ago.

The South African athlete chose to participate in a race that she really would not like to participate in and is not so good, as she refused to submit to the rules of athletics’ governing body, which required treatment to reduce her needed to be taken. Testosterone level if he wanted to run 800 meters.

These are the rules that Semenya considers “an insult against the spirit of the game”, via a letter from her lawyer.

Semenya was born, raised and identified as a woman. Her intersex status is 46,XY. These are differences in sexual development, which produce both masculine and feminine traits, as well as higher levels of testosterone than a normal female.

She was banned from competing in her preferred event after losing her appeal against a World Athletics rule which stated that women with her status were ineligible for certain competitions.

South African is not transgender. But her case, and those involving others with similar intersex conditions, has relevant implications for the treatment and classification of transgender athletes.

Semenya’s position and the similar struggle of Olympic silver medalist Christine Boma in the 200 meters, both show how complex the rules of athletics are regarding the participation of women with high levels of testosterone, considered by some to be an unfair advantage over other athletes. goes.

The rules, which will be amended soon, for example ban Semenya and others from running distances between 400 and 1,500 meters unless they lower their testosterone levels. They are free to participate in other events. Thus, Mboma qualified to run in the 200m, but Semenya should have missed the 800m.

Mboma has been injured this summer and has not traveled to Eugene. Semenya was also not expected to come. Out of nowhere, his name appeared on the entry list for the longest race.

The related but separate issue of transgender women in sport came to the fore again last month, when swimming leaders changed their rule. They banned transgender women from competing in elite pageants if they did not seek medical treatment that reduced their testosterone production before puberty or their 12th birthday, whichever came later.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has shown his support for the move in swimming, saying the athletics governing body will review its rules by the end of this year, which is likely to make them stricter.

“In my view, the balance between inclusion and fairness should always tilt in favor of fairness,” Coe said on the eve of this World Cup. He thus suggested that Athletics would take place in November, when those in charge of defining its rules met.

Such rule reform would harm Semenya rather than help.

In a rare interview given on HBO, the South African said that he once challenged athletics officials: “Well, I’m a woman, I don’t care. If you want to see I’m a woman, I’ll show you my vagina, okay?

Critics of World Athletics say the recent trend of associating transgender athletes with intersex athletes is problematic. “Biology is above identification,” Coe has said defending the restrictions.

And this has only ignited the controversy.

World Nation News Desk
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