Lia Thomas, Transgender Swimmer, Reviving the debate about gender testing in sport

“It is clear that the defendants knowingly performed this examination with the sole purpose of preventing the plaintiff from participating in the tournament,” said a judge in the New York Supreme Court. Written. Richards played at the US Open that year, at the age of 43. She was quickly eliminated in singles but still made it to the doubles final.

At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, eight women failed chromosomal test because they carry a Y chromosome. All were allowed to compete after it was proven that they had hormonal conditions that prevented them from going through the typical male development process. By the 2000 Olympics, international sports bodies abandoned chromosomal testing and switched to special medical testing.

Testosterone-based sex tests began about a decade ago, after South African track and field star Caster Semenya won the 800-meter race at the 2009 world athletics championships with time. more than two seconds. Under scrutiny for her athletic physique, Semenya was forced to undergo tests by an endocrinologist and gynecologist, as well as a mental health assessment by a psychologist.

The results of those tests were never made public, but Semenya then revealed that she was forced to take medication to lower her testosterone in order to compete. In 2011, World Athletics, the body that oversees athletics events launched the first policy for women with high testosterone, limit the concentration of this hormone to 10 nanomoles per liter. (Average testosterone levels in women are less than 3 nanomoles per liter, while in men typically range from 10 to 35 nanomoles per liter.)

Many experts speculate that the rules were changed because of Semenya. “It was really a response to an extraordinary athlete,” said Schultz, a historian at Penn State.

Four years later, the IOC relaxed its policy on transgender athletes, which previously required them to undergo genital surgery and legally change their sex, to focus solely on testosterone. Transgender women will need to demonstrate decreased blood hormone levels for at least a year.

In 2020, after several trials in international courts, World Athletics’ testosterone regulation has been appreciated. Semenya, who refused to take testosterone-suppressing drugs, was unable to compete at the 2020 Olympics. Lia Thomas, Transgender Swimmer, Reviving the debate about gender testing in sport

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