Rio 'intersex' athlete wins Gold in women's 800 meter race

A South African athlete won a gold medal in the women's 800 meter race. But the question being asked is one that will surface more frequently at athletic events in the future.

Is Caster Semenya a man or a woman?

Daily Caller:

Semenya is widely believed to be “intersex,” defined by the United Nations as people born with sex characteristics “that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies.” The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last summer suspended International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) rules prohibiting athletes who exceed a testosterone threshold from competing in women’s track and field events, clearing the way for Semenya to compete in Rio.

The CAS ruling claimed that high testosterone levels didn’t necessarily give female athletes an advantage. 

Semenya finished a whole second ahead of the next-closest finisher, setting a personal best with a time of 1:55.28.

Controversy arose at Olympics in the 1970's when East German female athetes dominated field events like shot put and hammer throw. They certainly didn't look much like women and their strength was far beyond any other female athlete in the world at the time.

Later, it was discovered they had high levels of testosterone in their system - either it was fed to them or they weren't women at all. That's when the IOC developed guidelines for how much testosterone female competitors could have in their system.

Now, apparently, the international body that oversees sport has decided that testosterone doesn't "necessarily give female athletes an advantage." There have been no studies, no scientific inquiry at all into the question of testosterone not giving females an advantage in a women's competition. Testosterone builds muscle and endurance - two requirements for any 800 meter runner.

The fact that Semenya finished a whole second ahead of the field - extremely unusual in an international competition with the best 800 meter runners in the world - should raise questions about whether Semenya should be running in the women's or men's competition.

A South African athlete won a gold medal in the women's 800 meter race. But the question being asked is one that will surface more frequently at athletic events in the future.

Is Caster Semenya a man or a woman?

Daily Caller:

Semenya is widely believed to be “intersex,” defined by the United Nations as people born with sex characteristics “that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies.” The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last summer suspended International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) rules prohibiting athletes who exceed a testosterone threshold from competing in women’s track and field events, clearing the way for Semenya to compete in Rio.

The CAS ruling claimed that high testosterone levels didn’t necessarily give female athletes an advantage. 

Semenya finished a whole second ahead of the next-closest finisher, setting a personal best with a time of 1:55.28.

Controversy arose at Olympics in the 1970's when East German female athetes dominated field events like shot put and hammer throw. They certainly didn't look much like women and their strength was far beyond any other female athlete in the world at the time.

Later, it was discovered they had high levels of testosterone in their system - either it was fed to them or they weren't women at all. That's when the IOC developed guidelines for how much testosterone female competitors could have in their system.

Now, apparently, the international body that oversees sport has decided that testosterone doesn't "necessarily give female athletes an advantage." There have been no studies, no scientific inquiry at all into the question of testosterone not giving females an advantage in a women's competition. Testosterone builds muscle and endurance - two requirements for any 800 meter runner.

The fact that Semenya finished a whole second ahead of the field - extremely unusual in an international competition with the best 800 meter runners in the world - should raise questions about whether Semenya should be running in the women's or men's competition.