World Athletics plans to toughen eligibility criteria for transgender and intersex athletes



The International Federation (World Athletics) said in a statement that it plans to tighten and consolidate its eligibility criteria for the women’s category for intersex and transgender athletes, to whom it does not completely close the door, aiming for a final decision in March.

Consultation with member federations

World Athletics has embarked on a process of consultation with its member federations on the subject, with a ” priority option “: ” Change Eligibility Requirements for DSD Athletes (difference in sexual development) and transgender by requiring continued reduction of testosterone levels below 2.5 nmol/L for at least 24 months “.

Putting forward a priority option is a way to obtain a constructive discussion, it does not mean that this option will be the one presented to the Board (next March) and therefore adopted “, However, wanted to clarify the instance.

Semenya challenges the current settlement

The current rules require transgender athletes wishing to participate in the female category to maintain their testosterone levels below the threshold of 5 nmol/L for 12 months. Intersex athletes, for example South African Caster Semenya (two-time Olympic champion and three-time world champion in the 800m), must, since April 2018, maintain their testosterone levels below the 5 nmol/L threshold for six months to participate. events ranging from 400 m to the mile.

This regulation had been denounced by Semenya, who refused to comply with it with hormonal treatment or an operation, but who had lost the appeals brought in particular before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). In November 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) asked sports federations to establish their own criteria to enable transgender and intersex people to compete at a high level.

The UCI and Fina have already decided

The International Cycling Union (UCI) had adopted regulations equivalent to those of priority option current track and field. The International Swimming Federation (Fina) had, in June 2022, limited access to its women’s categories to swimmers ” become women before puberty “.

Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, then welcomed Fina’s decision, stating that if he was forced to choose between ” equity ” and ” inclusion “, he would line up” always on the side of fairness “, to ” protect the integrity of women’s sport “.



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