Ath­let­ics has to win this bat­tle over testos­terone

Daily Mail - - Athletics -

Whether the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport will take its head from the sand on this is­sue is an­other mat­ter, but the IAAF, ath­let­ics’ world govern­ing body, have as good as proved that fe­male ath­letes with nat­u­rally high lev­els of testos­terone pos­sess a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage over their ri­vals.

A study of 2,100 ath­letes will now be used to chal­lenge a CAS rul­ing that the use of testos­terone-low­er­ing medicine should be sus­pended. If the IAAF win, as they should, it will af­fect the terms on which, for in­stance, Caster Se­menya (right) com­petes.

the ad­van­tage in 800 me­tres events is mea­sured at 1.8 per cent; the max­i­mum gain is in the ham­mer throw, 4.5 per cent.

It is as­ton­ish­ing that some have ar­gued testos­terone lev­els are ir­rel­e­vant. testos­terone lev­els are what sep­a­rate men and women, other­wise the en­tire species could race and com­pete side by side.

Girls play, quite com­fort­ably, in boys’ foot­ball teams un­til testos­terone kicks in and then the phys­i­cal im­bal­ances make this close to im­pos­si­ble.

It is no dif­fer­ent in ath­let­ics. Wood­ford Green with es­sex Ladies are a de­cent club, but noth­ing re­mark­able.

Sally Gun­nell is their only Olympic gold medal­list in 109 years. their Un­der 17 men’s 800m record is held by Canaan Solomon, set in 2015. Solomon ran 1min 52.02sec, which would have won Se­menya’s 800m women’s Olympic fi­nal in rio de Janeiro by roughly three­and-a-half sec­onds.

Solomon’s time wasn’t even in the top five in the schools’ cat­e­gory in the United King­dom for 2015.

So testos­terone is the game- changer, be­cause of the way it builds mus­cle mass. If a man and a woman go to the gym and train equally, the man’s testos­terone level will al­low him to build mus­cle that is be­yond the woman. this is why, for trans­gen­der in­di­vid­u­als com­pet­ing in women’s events, the IAAF sets a limit on per­mit­ted testos­terone lev­els.

It is also why men’s events are open and women’s are closed: to pro­tect com­pe­ti­tion. If you re­move testos­terone pro­duc­tion, or fe­male char­ac­ter­is­tics, as a fac­tor in women’s sport — which is what CAS ef­fec­tively did by set­ting no limit on testos­terone — any­one who iden­ti­fies as a woman could com­pete in women’s events.

Mean­ing Solomon, or any other very good Un­der 17 male club run­ner, could en­ter the women’s 800m at the next Olympics and win.

At which point women’s sport is over. to ig­nore testos­terone as a fac­tor, there­fore, chal­lenges the whole con­cept of fe­male sport. It is the IAAF’s duty to re­sist.

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