Female athletes must regulate their hormone levels, court rules

Lukas Schulze/Getty Images for IAAF
  • The Court of Arbitration for Sport, the highest court governing international sports, ruled that women with high levels of testosterone must take hormone-suppressing drugs in order to compete in some international races. [Rolling Stone / E.J. Dickson]
  • Caster Semenya, a South African athlete and two-time Olympic champion, challenged restrictions on women who have higher levels of testosterone. The court, however, did not side with her and ruled that she would have to lower her testosterone levels if she wanted to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics 800-meter race. [NYT / Jeré Longman]
  • A three-judge panel said in the ruling that these restrictions are discriminatory but necessary for “preserving the integrity of female athletics.” [BuzzFeed News / Mary Ann Georgantopoulos]
  • The ruling is a blow to Semenya, who has long argued such regulations target her specifically. [USA Today / Nancy Armour]
  • There are also concerns regarding the health issues that accompany hormone-suppressing drugs. Athletes forced to take such drugs would have to endure the possible side effects if they wanted to compete in prestigious international competitions. [Guardian / Sean Ingle]
  • The South African government decried the ruling as an insult to the “human rights and dignity” of Semenya and other athletes. But the International Olympic Committee has said it is working to create regulations that are more inclusive. [CNN / Aimee Lewis and Eoghan Macguire]

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