BY NOREEN FAGAN – Too much testosterone, women, and you are out of the game.
That’s the news from the International Olympic Committee and the International
Association of Athletics Federations.
The sports-governing gurus approved a new policy that deals
with athletes whose sex development is unusual. The new rules and regulations
help determine the eligibility of females with hyperandrogenism to take part in
Hyperandrogenism is the overproduction of male sex hormones,
and it is what got South African runner Caster Semenya into trouble at the
2009 World Championships.
Semenya won the gold medal for the 800 metres, but because
she looked too manly, questions were raised about whether her physical
condition gave her an unfair advantage. She was forced to withdraw from
international competition, undergoing gender testing and public humiliation until
she was given the go-ahead to return to competition in July 2010.
The new policy is supposed to bypass the embarrassing faux
pas made by the sports governing bodies in their dealings with Semenya, but an
essay in The New York Times describes the policy as “sexist in its
Semenya is back in the game, and on April 10 she won the 800
metres in the South African National Championships.