IAAF denies reports it wants to class Semenya as 'biological male'

By Peter Thompson 14 February 2019 47
IAAF denies reports it wants to class Semenya as 'biological male'

The IAAF has denied a report claiming lawyers representing the governing body will argue that Caster Semenya should be classified as a “biological male".

Semenya turned to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after the IAAF announced regulations would be brought in affecting women with higher than normal levels of testosterone who compete in track events ranging from the 400 metres up to a mile.

It was reported in The Times that IAAF lawyers will state during a CAS hearing next week that South African athlete Semenya should be classed as a biological male, but athletics' governing body issued a statement to reject those claims.

"The IAAF is not classifying any DSD [Differences of Sexual Development] athlete as male," the IAAF's statement, which was released on Wednesday, read.

"To the contrary, we accept their legal sex without question, and permit them to compete in the female category.

"However if a DSD athlete has testes and male levels of testosterone, they get the same increases in bone and muscle size and strength and increases in haemoglobin that a male gets when they go through puberty, which is what gives men such a performance advantage over women.

"Therefore, to preserve fair competition in the female category, it is necessary to require DSD athletes to reduce their testosterone down to female levels before they compete at international level."

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