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IAAF Testosterone rules to affect Caster Semenya

PICTURED: Caster Semenya

THE OLYMPIC 800m champion Caster Semenya may have to reduce her naturally high testosterone levels in order to compete as well as defend her world title.

Under the new rules that have been announced this morning (April 26), the IAAF have ruled that women with naturally high testosterone will have to artificially reduce their levels by taking daily hormonal contraceptives.

The new regulations have introduced a separate female classification for athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD)

It is believed by the IAAF that the new rules will “preserve fair and meaningful competition in the female classification” because women athletes with high testosterone have an advantage of up to 9% over women with normal levels of testosterone.”

It added: “The IAAF wants athletes to be incentivised to make the huge commitment and sacrifice required to excel in the sport, and so to inspire new generations to join the sport and aspire to the same excellence. It does not want to risk discouraging those aspirations by having unfair competition conditions that deny athletes a fair opportunity to succeed”.

According to sports scientist Ross Tucker, the policy is likely to have an impact on Semenya and it could slow down the double Olympic champions speed by “five to seven seconds” in the 800m.

The controversial regulations may end up in the Court of Arbitration for Sport if female athletes such as Semenya file a case against the IAAF.

It has also seen backlash spread across social media, with users calling the regulation “sexist”.

The rule, which will come into effect on November 1 2018, allows female athletes who have DSD, a six-month compliance period to reduce their testosterone levels to the obligatory levels.

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