1. An increase in testosterone screening among female athletes has prompted many to question current sports policies concerning gender. Female hyperandrogenism, or a high level of androgens (male hormones), is being used as an indicator to determine whether or not an athlete is male or female in international sport competitions.
  2. Caster Semenya, an intersex South African middle-distance runner, was subjected to testing after fellow competitors questioned her gender during the 2009 Berlin World Championship. Semenya was forced to undergo invasive examinations, which resulted in an 11-month suspension.
  3. Dorcas and Caster Semenya.mp4
  4. In light of the controversy surrounding Semenya’s case, international sports authorities implemented new guidelines to determine an athlete's testosterone levels instead of their gender ahead of the 2012 London Olympics. The new regulations state that female athletes who are suspected of being male must consent to a blood test, or be banned from competition. 
  5. Critics say women with “masculine” traits or more “male-looking” physiques are often targeted by these policies. Those questioned are forced to undergo blood tests and intrusive examinations by a panel of doctors and psychologists. Female athletes with testosterone levels considered too high will be subjected to a “therapeutic proposal” by sports authorities.
  6. Therapy may include invasive surgeries or hormone balancing drugs. Once levels are “normalised”, athletes may return to competing.
  7. @AJStream Wouldn't that be illegal since it's unnatural for them? It would be a synthetic or surgical enhancement, and what is "normal?"
  8. Supporters of these policies argue that testing for high testosterone levels is necessary to keep athletic competitions fair. Testosterone is believed to enhance strength and performance, suggesting that higher levels would create a competitive advantage.
  9. However, researchers stress that testosterone levels do not determine gender. A recent study concluded that it is common to find varying levels of testosterone in both men and women. The study also determined that from a sample of 693 elite athletes, more than 16.5 per cent of males had testosterone levels below average. 14 per cent of women were above the female average.
  10. Gold medal winner Dutee Chand, in the most recent case of testosterone testing, was barred from participating in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games after she reportedly failed to test within the “normal” range of testosterone levels.
  11. Indian woman sprinter returns home after winning gold medals, receives grand welcome
  12. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) stressed that the exams followed the guidelines of the International Olympic Committee and the International Association of Athletics Federations and were not meant to determine gender.
  13. A month after their decision, the SAI retracted their statement, concluding that measuring testosterone levels should not interfere with an athlete’s participation in sports. They pledged to endorse Chand’s plea to reconsider the ban, while also offering her medical intervention to reduce her testosterone levels. Chand has decided to exhaust all other options before conceding to surgery.  

  14. The Stream community expressed their thoughts on testosterone testing. Many believe the new policies are discriminatory:
  15. @locke @AJStream How do they determine what "normal" is? This falls into the classification of GM humans, to force "normal" on everyone.
  16. @AJStream Pardon my ignorance, this sound like a hypocrisy of the belief of the equality of sexes. What makes a women,feminine? #AJStream
  17. "@locke @AJStream Because society finds it easier to question the abilities of women in doing sports. It's a role that isn't supposed to fit
  18. One community member says the policy should apply to both men and women:
  19. Others compared testosterone "tampering" to doping:
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