Transgender women banned from female athletics events

Transgender women banned from female athletics events

News Analysis   /   Transgender women banned from female athletics events

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Published on: March 28, 2023

Source: BBC

Why in News?

  1. World Athletics, the governing body for athletics, has announced a ban on transgender women from competing in elite female competitions if they have gone through male puberty.
  2. The council has also imposed stricter regulations on athletes with Differences in Sex Development (DSD) by reducing the maximum amount of plasma testosterone for athletes in half, from 5 to 2.5 nanomoles per litre.

What are the Major Points Related to the Ban?

According to World Athletics, the ban on transgender women competing in elite female competitions is based on the need to protect the female category.

The tighter rules will impact DSD athletes such as Caster Semenya, Christine Mboma, and Francine Niyonsaba.

At the 2020 Olympics, Semenya and Niyonsaba were both barred from the 800m race and turned their attention to the 5,000m, while Mboma won silver in the 200m.

Swimming's world governing body, World Aquatics, has also banned transgender women from elite competition if they have experienced any part of male puberty.

What is DSD?

  • It is a condition in which an individual's physical sex characteristics do not align with typical male or female development.
  • This can include various genetic, hormonal, or anatomical differences, leading to conditions such as intersex or ambiguous genitalia.
  • In the context of athletics, DSD athletes may have naturally high levels of testosterone, which has been a subject of controversy and regulation in sports.
  • For instance, DSD athletes have male testes but do not produce enough of the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that is necessary for the formation of male external genitalia.
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