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New IAAF rules for transgender athletes

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), has this week made a ruling that transgender athletes must now lower their testosterone levels by half if they wish to compete without being accused of cheating.

The ruling comes as a strict measure after one Casper Semenya of South Africa and many others, who came before her, were blamed for cheating the sport of athletics with their hormonal imbalance.
The IAAF Council, which met in Doha, approved eligibility rules that require the concentration of testosterone in an athlete to be less than five nanomoles per litre continuously for a period of at least 12 months prior to being declared eligible. The previous limit was 10 nanomoles.

The athlete must also keep the levels below that mark to maintain their eligibility to compete in the female category.The change brings the regulation into line with that which applies to athletes with differences of sexual development like Caster Semenya, who is currently challenging the rules. "Under the new regulations, a transgender female athlete is no longer required to be recognized by law in her new gender but should provide a signed declaration that her gender identity is female," an IAAF statement said.

"She must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the expert panel that the concentration of testosterone in her serum has been less than 5nmol/L, continuously for a period of at least 12 months prior to being declared eligible, and must keep her serum testosterone concentration below that level to maintain her eligibility to compete in the female category. "While South Africa and Semenya are in the eye of the storm because of the ruling, Botswana, in many year gone by, has ducked world headlines regarding its former champion Tshotlego Morama. After winning several championships abroad, competing as a female, her gender locally became a subject of heated discussion.

Although, it later became clearer that Morama was actually a man, those close to the rules of the sport agreed that Botswana was fortunate not to be banned for fielding a male in a female category.
Whether Morama’s testosterone levels were equally good as that of man or not, the former champion has long gone on record and admitted that he is indeed a male. At birth, he was declared a female but it seems it is now a thing of the past. The former athlete has given himself a new name by Paul.

Additional reporting by Sydney Morning Herald.
 

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