Sebastian Coe indicates IAAF will challenge female testosterone ruling

• Caster Semenya allowed to run at Rio 2016 without monitoring
• Cas suspended practice of testosterone regulation in 2015

Sebastian Coe has indicated the IAAF is to challenge the ruling that suspended the monitoring of female athletes with higher than usual levels of testosterone.

At the centre of the ruling is South Africa’s Caster Semenya, the likely winner of the women’s 800m final at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Semenya is described as an “intersex” athlete meaning she does not conform to typical notions of male or female bodies. She produces testosterone at a level much higher than most women, prompting questions about whether that gives her an unfair biological advantage on the track.

In April 2011, the International Association of Athletics Federations announced it was adopting rules and regulations governing the eligibility of females with hyperandrogenism, effectively meaning there was an upper limit for women’s testosterone levels with anyone above it required to take hormones to lower them to more “normal” levels to compete.

That ruling was knocked back in July 2015 by the court of arbitration for sport which suspended the practice of testosterone regulation for two years and challenged the IAAF to present better evidence by July 2017.

“We were surprised by the Cas decision, and I think the IOC was too,” Coe told following a meeting of the IAAF council in Rio on Wednesday. “We are looking again at this issue and will be talking to Cas at some time over the next year.”

The IAAF president added: “But we need to remember these are human beings. This is a sensitive subject, they are athletes, they are daughters, they are sisters and we need to be very clear about this. We will treat this sensitively. We need to go back to Cas and we have the right people looking at this.”


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