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May 7, 2019

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IOC says Semenya’s gender case is ‘delicate’

International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach yesterday called the controversial gender case of South African runner Caster Semenya “extremely complicated and delicate.”

Two-time Olympic champion Semenya last week lost a court challenge against the International Association of Athletic Federations over plans to force some women to regulate their testosterone levels.

The decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport means female athletes with elevated testosterone will have to take suppressive treatment if they wish to compete as women in certain events.

The IAAF argued that “hyperandrogenic” athletes — or those with “differences of sexual development” — had an unfair advantage over others. Bach said the IOC would create a group of “experts from science, from ethics as well as athletes’ representatives and from international federations” to examine the ruling.

It will include IOC medical director Richard Budgett and they will “study this extremely complicated and delicate problem.”

“This is a case that should be taken up with the international federations, it’s their rules, their technical regulations,” he said.

The World Medical Association urged doctors not to enforce the rules for classifying female athletes, saying it breaches ethics codes.


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