World Athletics will continue with testosterone levels rules for transgenders and DSD athletes despite updated IOC’s framework


World Athletics has confirmed that it will stick with its eligibility rules despite the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) new framework for transgender and DSD athletes.

As per the World Athletics rules, which came into effect in 2019, athlete testosterone levels were capped at five nanomoles per litres in women’s events from 400m through the mile for differences in sex development (DSD) and transgender athletes.

The world body said that no female athletes would have a level above five nanomoles per litre unless they had a DSD or a tumor.

The new IOC framework has 10 principles that the Olympic Committee says will guide International Federations (IFs). Prevention of harm, non-discrimination, inclusion and fairness are among the key aspects of the new guidelines.

What World Athletics said on IOC’s framework?

World Athletics believes its rules are lawful and are necessary to ensure female athletes participate on fair equal terms.

It said there would be no changes to its regulations as they remain in line with the 10 principles te IOC has proposed.

In response to the IOC’s framework, a statement by World Athletics read:

“World Athletics’ eligibility regulations are based on the same fundamental principles of ensuring fair competition in the female category and on inclusion rather than exclusion as the IOC has identified in its Framework document.”

It added:

“To the extent the IOC document diverges from our regulations, we would simply note that the Court of Arbitration for Sport Panel in 2019 found that the DSD regulations were a necessary, reasonable, and proportionate means of achieving World Athletics’ legitimate objective of maintaining fair and meaningful competition in the female category, and a rational resolution of the conflicting human rights’ of 46XX athletes and 46XY DSD athletes with a female gender identity.”

The most famous case in this DSD and transgender regulation is that of two-time Olympic champion in 800m Caster Semenya. The South African lost an appeal to overturn World Athletics’ rules at the Swiss Supreme Court last year. Since then she has been pursuing the case at the European Court of Human Rights.

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