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World Athletics Bans Transgender Women

  • 27 Mar 2023
  • 2 min read

Why in News?

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.

  • 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.

Source: TH

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