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Should there be testosterone limits in women’s sports?
It is important for sporting bodies to level the playing field among athletes.
International Association of Athletics Federations has a responsibility
to ensure a level playing field for athletes. This includes establishing a set of rules which ensure that success is determined by talent, dedication and hard work rather than other contributing factors.
The knowledge that they will never beat a competitor like
can damage athlete's mental health.
Women are likely to be discouraged from participating if they are forced to compete against women, who have a significant advantage over them. This could, in turn, reduce female participation in general.
Sport is primarily for the benefit of spectators: it is only enjoyable to watch if the competition is fair.
It is difficult to distinguish between natural hormone levels and those that are a result of doping with androgens (
The International Olympic Committee and the International Association of Athletics Federations ruled out performing
on its athletes in 1999. It is hence contradictory for them to now enforce testosterone limits.
By trying to weed out extraordinary sportswomen to cater for the majority, the sporting community could lose extremely talented, once-in-a-generation athletes.
Instead of pursuing women whose natural characteristics give them an advantage in sport, organisations such as the IAAF should work on eradicating doping, which is arguably a much more serious and widespread problem.
Sporting bodies banning the participation of certain athletes is tantamount to publicly body shaming them, as it would easily become apparent which athletes had been excluded and why.