The Swiss court of arbitration for sports has ruled in favour of the IAAF decision which compels female athletes with high testosterone levels in the range of males to reduce their natural levels and to maintain that level for at least six months to be eligible to compete in certain track and field events in international competitions. The IAAF suggest this reduction be done by contraceptives.
Caster Semenya’s followers have argued that the Decision was discriminatory by imposing differential treatments targeted at a subset of the female athlete population and do not impose any equivalent restrictions on male athletes with naturally higher testosterone levels.
Implementing this regulation over a consistent period of time may prove to be wanting. In theory it seems easy but in practice, it may expose some grey spots as the affected athletes may be unable to maintain a natural testosterone level below the required on a consistent basis.
I know that the IAAF's regulations have always targeted me specifically. For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger.
Scientifically, the proof provided by the IAAF claiming that female athletes with higher testosterone levels have an advantage, has come under heavy criticism by some sports scientists.
The drop in testosterone levels will come with some physical effects like decrease in muscle size of the athletes and that will produce less strength and agility.
The South African athlete who holds a record gold in the 2012 and 2016 summer Olympics and is expected to replicate her performance next summer. Despite the ruling, clearly the debate will not disappear any time soon.
“I know that the IAAF’s regulations have always targeted me specifically. For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger. The decision of the CAS will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world,” Semenya is quoted to have said.