New testosterone limits could force female runner Caster Semenya to race against men

Image credit: Getty Images

Running phenomenon Caster Semenya of South Africa and some other top females runners will likely have to reduce their body’s natural testosterone levels under new rules to continue to compete in top international races.

The new rules issued Thursday [April 26] by the International Association of Athletics Federations set strict limits on testosterone levels for women and “intersex” athletes in women’s races.

For now, beginning in November, the blood testosterone level must be 5 nanomoles per liter for a continuous period of at least six months for an athlete to compete in a women’s event under the new IAAF track rules. The new levels, down from 10 nmol/L, will apply to all athletes with a “difference of sexual development” designation and will include only female or “intersex” athletes, not athletes designated as male, who would be barred from women’s competition. The levels will apply to athletes competing in international women’s events from 400 meters to the mile.


The IAAF had defended its decision by saying the typical range among elite female athletes is 0.12 to 1.79 nmol/L, according to NPR.

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If athletes the IAAF refers to as “hyperandrogenous women” don’t lower their testosterone to the new levels, they will only be allowed to compete with men or intersex athletes…

“The revised rules are not about cheating. They are about leveling the playing field to ensure fair and meaningful competition,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said in a statement Thursday.

Read full, original post: Super Runner Semenya Faces New Testosterone Limits In Sports Gender Battle

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