WOMEN THAT HAVE BEEN BARRED FROM OLYMPICS FOR BEING TOO ‘MANLY’
PHOTOS: Left to right: Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, Uganda’s Annet Negesa, South Africa’s Caster Semenya and Margret Wambui of Kenya.
Yes they are women – by medical terms – however their testosterone is way above that of their fellow women. All these women have had issues with global athletes bodies and international competitions, we won’t go into details but here is a summary of events leading to 2020 (2021) Olympics.
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS
2009. Questions raised over Semenya’s sex after her World Championship win.
2010. Semenya cleared to participate in women’s middle-distance events but starts to take testosterone reducing medicines in 2011
2012. Uganda’s Negesa ruled out of the London Olympics for having high testosterone levels and desperately goes through a career-threatening surgery to alter her body.
2015. IAAF policy on hyperandrogenism, or high natural levels of testosterone in women, that had been in place since 2011 suspended following the case of Dutee Chand v. Athletics Federation of India (AFI) & The International Association of Athletics Federations, in CAS.
(The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is the highest independent authority in international sport that resolves disputes through arbitration. CAS is an independent body governed by the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS).)
2016. Lynsey Sharp, who finished sixth, and fifth-placed Joanna Jóźwik criticize Semenya’s Rio Olympics gold in the 800m race but the South African continues to compete.
April 2018: the IAAF announced new rules that required athletes who have certain DSDs that cause testosterone levels above 5 nmol/L and androgen sensitivity to take medication to lower their testosterone levels in order to compete in the female classification, effective May 8, 2019.
Decision means Rio women’s 800m podium finishers Semenya, Niyonsaba and Wambuyi are ruled out of the race and other mid-distance races for years to come.
June 2018. Semenya announces she will challenge the decision in CAS.
May 2019. CAS rules against Semenya and upholds IAAF decision. Semenya turns to 200m event to save her Tokyo 2020 plan despite winning the national women’s 5000m event in SA.
September 2020. Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland sides with CAS and IAAF and rules against Semenya appeal.
February 2021: Semenya challenges Switzerland Supreme Court decision at the European Court of Human Rights
April 2021: Semenya confirms she would not try to make the Tokyo 2020 200m qualifying standard.
May 2021: Semenya runs a PB of 15:32.15 in the 5000m but it is 22 seconds outside the Tokyo 2020 standard.
July 2021: Namibia’s Christine Mboona and Beatrice Masilingi ruled out of Tokyo 2020 for having high natural levels of testosterone.
Decision reopens debate on whether there is discrimination against African female mid-distance runners given that 43-year old biological male Laurel Hubbard, who identifies as a woman since 2012, is competing in the women’s weightlifting events at the Olympics.
BUT IS THERE DISCRIMINATION AGAINST AFRICA’S TOP OLYMPICS ATHLETES?
Meanwhile, Namibia’s Christine Mboona and Beatrice Masilingi who have both been summarily disqualified from the 400m race by the Olympics committee, join the fray prompting a debate on whether these regulations are just a case of discrimination against African female athletes.
What do you think?
Source: Daily Monitor