Caster allowed to participate in men’s events – IAAF


The International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) says athletes like South Africa’s Caster Semenya are welcome to enter men’s events if they are not willing to take medicine to lower their testosterone levels.

The IAAF was responding to a letter from the World Medical Association (WMA) which urged doctors not to enforce controversial new IAAF gender rules for classifying female athletes, warning that attempts to do so would breach ethical codes.

One of the main reasons given was that the IAAF’s research was based on “weak evidence”.

WMA president Dr Leonid Eidelman said: “We have strong reservations about the ethical validity of these regulations. They are based on weak evidence from a single study, which is currently being widely debated by the scientific community…”

The IAAF responded with a statement on their official website, saying their research was based on evidence taken from the past 15 years.

“The IAAF Regulations in this matter are not based on a single study, but on many scientific publications and observations from the field during the last 15 years. All these materials were submitted to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and discussed during the hearing. The Panel has accepted the validity of this evidence and has recently decided to uphold the IAAF Regulations.”

In its statement, the WMA added: “It is in general considered as unethical for physicians to prescribe treatment for excessive endogenous testosterone if the condition is not recognised as pathological.”

To this, the IAAF responded: “We respectfully remind the WMA that while doctors should try not to over-medicalise the lives of these patients, it is important to recognise that for an adolescent raised as female and experiencing a masculinising puberty, according to international guidelines for DSD, an extensive investigation should be carried out by a cross-professional team to reach a diagnosis, and to clarify the individual’s gender identity.

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