IOC: Let 'Gender-Disorder' Women Compete

Allow 'masculine' females if they get treatment, says group
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 21, 2010 2:10 AM CST
South African runner Caster Semenya last year displays her gold medal after ceremonies for the Women's 800m final at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)
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(Newser) – An Olympics panel has recommended that female athletes with masculinizing gender disorders should be allowed to compete if they get medical treatment. “The entire concept is that these individuals should be allowed to compete," a participant in the Miami Beach meeting told the New York Times. Some female athletes criticized the plan for allowing grossly unfair competition from athletes with marked male characteristics. Even with treatment, such females reap the benefits of a lifetime of high levels of testosterone, say medical experts.

“They might as well open it up and have women competing with men," said a female runner. The recommendation marks a "sea change" in Olympic attitudes toward gender, said a member of the panel. The recommendation will likely have a major impact on the future of South African female runner Caster Semenya, who reportedly has a gender condition that boosts her testosterone levels to three times the amount of an elite female athlete.

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