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You have to be a normal woman to compete in female events – World Athletics Council

You have to be a normal woman to compete in female events – World Athletics Council

By Adolf Kaure.

The executive board of Athletics Namibia (AN) has labelled the World Athletics Council’s recent decision to approve amendments for the Differences in Sex Development (DSD) regulations and eligibility regulations for Transgender (TG) for female athletes as discriminatory.

The amendments require female athletes classified as DSD to suppress testosterone levels and set specific requirements for TG athletes to be eligible to compete at World Rankings competitions. This also applies to world records at competitions that are not part of recognised World Ranking competitions.

The council’s decision tightens restrictions and requirements on athletes with DSD, cutting the maximum amount of plasma testosterone for athletes in half, to 2.5 nanomoles per litre from five.

The vote passed with 71% of the World Athletics Council in favour of tightening the amendments.

In the past, the World Athletics Council had a regulation which allowed DSD athletes to compete in events outside the 400m to the mile without having to suppress their testosterone.

DSD athletes must suppress their testosterone levels below two and a half nanomoles per litre for six months before being eligible to compete again and that testosterone levels must be suppressed for two years for events from 400m up to the mile and for DSD athletes who have not already been competing.

In response, the local athletics body stated “Athletics Namibia finds the regulations discriminatory, unfair, stigmatizing and not safeguarding all women in sport.”

“We are disappointed that athletes are required to change their natural conditions to be eligible to compete,” said Athletics Namibia president, Erwin Naimwhaka in a statement issued by AN this week.

Athletics Namibia oversees activities and affairs of athletics in Namibia, according to laws and rules governing sport in Namibia and the rules and regulations of the World Athletics Council.

With upcoming international competitions such as the World Athletics continental tour events, the Diamond League series and the World Athletics event this year, the new regulations affect athletes eligibility to compete in these events.

“Athletics Namibia will use the platforms available within the World Athletics structures to engage on the issue and with other stakeholders and developmental partners to convince World Athletics Council to re-look the science and ensure fairness and non-discrimination of the athletes affected by these regulations.”

“Athletics Namibia calls for fairness and for a policy that allows all athletes unhindered access to the sport they love.”

“We will allow all our athletes in Namibia to take part in the events of their choice and duly recognize performances at its competitions including national records,” he said.

The World Athletics Council’s new amendments to the rules for female DSD athletes come into effect this week Friday on 31 March.


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