Under the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) policy, Differences of Sexual Development (DSD) athletes usually born with testes, would have to reduce the level of blood testosterone to less than five nmol/L for around six months, according to the World Athletics guidelines introduced last year. If they wish to compete internationally for middle-distance events, they would have to maintain the levels for the remainder of their athletic career. Due to these guidelines, runner Caster Semenya, who has 46, XY, would have to take testosterone-reducing drugs to compete. The 29-year-old South African middle-distance runner decided against doing so.
On Tuesday, the Swiss Federal Tribunal rejected Caster Semenya's appeal, not allowing her to compete in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. The court seemingly believes Semenya medically altered her body, which suppresses her natural testosterone levels so she can run in international events. The court sided with the World Athletics body, stating that the two-time Olympic gold medalist will have to show her altered result, else she won't be able to compete.
Semenya has what medicine calls the "46, XY" disorder of sexual development, where she carries one X chromosome and Y chromosome in each cell. This condition, unfortunately, makes Semenya list above the average testosterone levels. While the Swiss Court has ruled against the three-time world champion, World Medical Association and the UN's Commissioner of Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet support Semenya's decision.
this is wrong on so many levels..— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) September 10, 2020
once again men having control over womens bodies 🙄 I’m tired https://t.co/eodz4SBk8x
“I am very disappointed by this ruling,” Semenya said in a statement delivered by her lawyers. However, she added that she refuses to let the World Athletics stop her from being who she is. "I will continue to fight for the human rights of female athletes, both on the track and off the track until we can all run free the way we were born." Semenya asserted that excluding women and endangering their health solely due to their "natural abilities" puts them on the "wrong side of history".
Unsurprisingly, the World Athletics agreed with the Swiss court's decision. They referred to the decision as "a legitimate and proportionate means of protecting the right of all female athletes to participate in our sport on fair and meaningful terms." The governing body, on the other hand, stated that they respect everyone's personal dignity. However, they added that "the DSD regulations are not about challenging an individual's gender identity, but rather about protecting fair competition for all female athletes."