Caster Semenya Loses Landmark Case
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 5:10 pm    Post subject: Caster Semenya Loses Landmark Case

http://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_/id/26645592/caster-semenya-loses-landmark-gender-case-iaaf-rules

I think this is a shameful ruling, personally. Yes, the testosterone levels are higher with her than with a typical female athlete in competition in this event, but Semenya is not being accused of doping. Whatever her levels are, it's natural. This is who she is. Whether she's intersexed or whether she has "differences in sexual development", this is how she was born, this is how she was made. She's quite literally a 1-in-7-billion person on this planet. And they are catering to the athletes that can't beat her out of some misguided sense of fairness, rather than simply allowing Semenya to run as she is.

This isn't anything remotely close to a transgendered athlete who was born a man who is trying to compete against women. There is nothing artificial going on. This is actually much more simple than the controversy over allowing Oscar Pistorius to compete in the Olympics against so-called "able-bodied athletes." Pistorius used something artificial. There is nothing of the sort going on with Semenya. She has an even better case than Pistorius did. I think it's deeply unfair.
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 6:12 pm    Post subject:

^^^do we know if the reports of Semenya being intersex were accurate? I did not see it mentioned when I skimmed the article, but I recall the results of the sex verification test supposedly leaked many years ago to make that claim....but I never recall if it was verified.
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 6:28 pm    Post subject:

^
The article mentions that she is classified as having "differences in sexual development", or DSD. From what I could find, this means that she was born with an abnormality in the genitalia and/or reproductive organs, secondary to a chromosomal or hormonal disorder. My view on it is pretty simple: she was born this way, she's not a male, and this isn't a doping case. Tough sh*t for the competition.

What are you going to do, make her run in a new category featuring only other athletes with DSD? I don't think it's fair at all.
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 6:36 pm    Post subject:

^^^^I am not knowledgeable of DSD, but if it is the same as "intersex", my understanding is the individual is not classified as male or female as a sex. Feel free to correct me if that is incorrect. If it is correct, would you have a different opinion if Semenya was raised as a male?
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 7:04 pm    Post subject:

adkindo wrote:
^^^^I am not knowledgeable of DSD, but if it is the same as "intersex", my understanding is the individual is not classified as male or female as a sex. Feel free to correct me if that is incorrect. If it is correct, would you have a different opinion if Semenya was raised as a male?


I think that's getting into a slippery slope. Maybe the parents wanted to raise the child as a male, for example, without regard to the child's wishes. I have no idea, just speculating, and, in fact, from what I gather, DSD clinics also deal with the mental and emotional aspects of this diagnosis for both children and their families. For me, the bottom line is that if the athlete identifies as a female and, in fact, is not a male, she should be allowed to compete without restrictions.

I also would be interested to find out what the average testosterone levels in a male world-class 800 meter athlete would be. I'm guessing they would be far higher than Semenya's levels. Bottom line, she's different, but it shouldn't be discriminated against because it's natural.
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 7:24 pm    Post subject:

I don’t see the justification for this rule. I would need to hear the IAAF’s defense of the rule, and we aren’t going to get it from the news reports. But I would be skeptical of any rule that appears to apply to one athlete, or even a handful of athletes, and that does not appear to target willful abuse of the system.
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 7:42 pm    Post subject:

I feel like I could debate from either side of this....that is due to being conflicted on it, and also being ignorant of some facts in this case. I wish I had a better grasp on the DSD or intersex issue. Is it just yes or no...or are there like ratio's? I am not trying to sound silly or be insensitive, but I assume its not 50/50 in most cases, right?

As of right now, I tend to lean towards the decision of the IAAF. While I think many will view their decision as being "behind", I actually think it may be ahead of the curve as I have read other sports may seek this direction in the future as we face complicated cases. For example, I have read speculation that major sports at some point will no longer focus on hormone supplementation, and simply focus on legal ranges. I actually think this could make the playing field more fair and could actually eliminate one area of genetic advantage by saying we allow this amount of free testosterone in the system....period....not focused on if it is natural, synthetic, etc.

I felt like the quote in the article shed the most light on at least their angle of thought...

Quote:
The judges decided the IAAF's proposed rules are discriminatory, but they also found in a 2-1 verdict that "on the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties, such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF's aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the Restricted Events [races of distances between 400m and a mile]."


I think it is important to point out that Semenya is not barred from competing once the testosterone levels are within a range deemed acceptable to compete against females. If Semenya's work ethic and talent are at or better than the level of the competition, the winning should not stop.
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 8:09 pm    Post subject:

^
It's going to make her slower, for sure. One estimate I saw (may have been in the article) was about 7 seconds. My issue is simply that her testosterone levels are natural, no one is gaming the system and she should be allowed to race as her natural self. It's not like there are going to be a thousand Caster Semenyas ready to game the system tomorrow. It's not like every DSD person has the talent to be a world-class runner.

I would feel differently if she was taking medication for her condition, and that medicine is what raised the testosterone levels. Then it becomes artificial. But as long as nothing like that is happening, my view stands.
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 7:03 am    Post subject:

IAAF will ignore court, apply testosterone rules

Quote:
The CAS upheld the IAAF's rules limiting testosterone for athletes competing in some events, including Semenya's favored 800 meters, in its landmark ruling.

But in a caveat to the decision, the Switzerland-based court specifically said there was "a paucity of evidence" to apply the rules to the 1,500-meter and one-mile races. The CAS asked the IAAF to delay the rules in those events until it provides more evidence.


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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 11:02 am    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
^
It's going to make her slower, for sure. One estimate I saw (may have been in the article) was about 7 seconds. My issue is simply that her testosterone levels are natural, no one is gaming the system and she should be allowed to race as her natural self. It's not like there are going to be a thousand Caster Semenyas ready to game the system tomorrow. It's not like every DSD person has the talent to be a world-class runner.

I would feel differently if she was taking medication for her condition, and that medicine is what raised the testosterone levels. Then it becomes artificial. But as long as nothing like that is happening, my view stands.


I have to admit I'm conflicted. On the one hand, she's clearly not a man, nor a trans woman, and her levels of testosterone are clearly not from some artificial action. And she is an elite athlete in theory even without the "boost". And quite frankly, the genetic predisposition to being an elite athlete in the first place is "unfair' to the vast number of people who don't have those gifts. So you could say she's a very small aberration in a group of aberrations.

OTOH, it IS an advantage, and an essential one to her greatness, that IS NOT available to biological XX chromosome types, and while different than transgender, it does raise a debate where there aren't clear answers IMO.

And I freely admit I could be wrong on some of my assumptions and understandings, and am open to being shown that I am.
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 11:31 am    Post subject:

What gender would this person be classified as scientifically? This feels like a grey area that I believe doesn't have a solution yet.
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 1:17 pm    Post subject:

So Secretariat had a gigantically enlarged heart, which was found in an equine autopsy after his death. There is little doubt that his heart enabled him to take in oxygen differently than other horses. Should he have been ineligible to race? If you're made a certain way and it's an advantage on your competitors, I think it's tough sh*t for them. It shouldn't be punished, it should be celebrated.

My .02, anyway. Also, it's quite coincidental that they apply their ruling in the events that Semenya dominates in, no?
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 2:22 pm    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
So Secretariat had a gigantically enlarged heart, which was found in an equine autopsy after his death. There is little doubt that his heart enabled him to take in oxygen differently than other horses. Should he have been ineligible to race? If you're made a certain way and it's an advantage on your competitors, I think it's tough sh*t for them. It shouldn't be punished, it should be celebrated.

My .02, anyway. Also, it's quite coincidental that they apply their ruling in the events that Semenya dominates in, no?


Sure, but Secretariat having an extra large heart wasn't a byproduct of gender in a sport divided by gender. Men are prohibited from participating in women's sports precisely because they have a biological advantage. THis is why we are having a tough discussion about transgender people, whose gender we respect but whose physical advantages we must account for, and a person who falls biologically between the sexes and thus has a lesser biological advantage but still a significant one is a subject for reasonable people to \wrestle with and even disagree upon.

I absolutely hear you on the politics of applying it in this one case, but then again, this one case is where there's a clear and defined advantage. And while her advantage is natural, it isn't natural within the biological restricted group of athletes competing. A man's testosterone advantage is natural too. So it becomes a much less black and white and more gray area.
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 2:37 pm    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
So Secretariat had a gigantically enlarged heart, which was found in an equine autopsy after his death. There is little doubt that his heart enabled him to take in oxygen differently than other horses. Should he have been ineligible to race? If you're made a certain way and it's an advantage on your competitors, I think it's tough sh*t for them. It shouldn't be punished, it should be celebrated.

My .02, anyway. Also, it's quite coincidental that they apply their ruling in the events that Semenya dominates in, no?


Exactly, otherwise every NBA player over 7' should be declared ineligible - "unfair physical advantage" . . . of course that advantage came through no fault of their own and wasn't artificially achieved . . . but eff them anyway.
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 2:39 pm    Post subject:

(Responding to Omar's post)

Right, but as I said before, while her levels are higher than a typical female, they are far less than a male's levels. Do you just cast her (no pun intended, I swear) aside because she's a remarkably rare individual? I just feel like if it's natural, they should allow her to compete in the gender that she clearly identifies with. I get that certain opportunists could try to exploit what they feel is a gray area, but for me, I try to take everything on a case-by-case basis. Since Semenya is not gaming the system, I feel the ruling is unfair.

And I don't think it's realistic to have a "DSD" separate category. Honestly, this is probably something that might occur once every thousand years, where you have a DSD person who also happens to be not just a world-class athlete in an event, but one of the best who has ever lived. It feels like they are doing this as a direct reaction to one person's dominance. If she were finishing 8th in these events, they wouldn't give a damn.
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 2:46 pm    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
(Responding to Omar's post)

Right, but as I said before, while her levels are higher than a typical female, they are far less than a male's levels. Do you just cast her (no pun intended, I swear) aside because she's a remarkably rare individual? I just feel like if it's natural, they should allow her to compete in the gender that she clearly identifies with. I get that certain opportunists could try to exploit what they feel is a gray area, but for me, I try to take everything on a case-by-case basis. Since Semenya is not gaming the system, I feel the ruling is unfair.


How do you "exploit" a genetic difference? No one alters themselves in the womb for further gain once they are born. Utilizing the way you are born isn't exploiting anything. Michael Phelps has physical abnormalities that contributed to his great success. How do you draw the line of what physical attributes are acceptable?
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 2:49 pm    Post subject:

DaMuleRules wrote:
ChickenStu wrote:
(Responding to Omar's post)

Right, but as I said before, while her levels are higher than a typical female, they are far less than a male's levels. Do you just cast her (no pun intended, I swear) aside because she's a remarkably rare individual? I just feel like if it's natural, they should allow her to compete in the gender that she clearly identifies with. I get that certain opportunists could try to exploit what they feel is a gray area, but for me, I try to take everything on a case-by-case basis. Since Semenya is not gaming the system, I feel the ruling is unfair.


How do you "exploit" a genetic difference? No one alters themselves in the womb for further gain once they are born. Utilizing the way you are born isn't exploiting anything. Michael Phelps has physical abnormalities that contributed to his great success. How do you draw the line of what physical attributes are acceptable?


Not so much a genetic difference, I guess. I was thinking of something like a Renee Richards situation, but where it happened at a much younger age, I guess. Just thinking out loud. Regardless, for certain this is a case of a person who has not done anything but be herself. Now, if it ever came out that she was doping or something, completely different story. But there has been absolutely no indication of that, not that I'm aware of, anyway.
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 3:18 pm    Post subject:

Stop categorizing people as male or female, just as hormone levels in a hierarchy like the boxing system. Then you don't have any problem and anyone can be any sex or gender they want to be. They just compete in the tier that matches their hormone level and there you go.

I think one day we all end up with unisex sports and a much less binary society anyway.
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 3:36 pm    Post subject:

Omar Little wrote:
I absolutely hear you on the politics of applying it in this one case, but then again, this one case is where there's a clear and defined advantage. And while her advantage is natural, it isn't natural within the biological restricted group of athletes competing. A man's testosterone advantage is natural too. So it becomes a much less black and white and more gray area.


What you’re saying is fair, but as I’ve thought about this, I’m struck by the incongruity of the IAAF requiring athletes to negatively dope themselves. Instead of PEDs, we now have PRDs (R for reducing).
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 3:40 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Omar Little wrote:
I absolutely hear you on the politics of applying it in this one case, but then again, this one case is where there's a clear and defined advantage. And while her advantage is natural, it isn't natural within the biological restricted group of athletes competing. A man's testosterone advantage is natural too. So it becomes a much less black and white and more gray area.


What you’re saying is fair, but as I’ve thought about this, I’m struck by the incongruity of the IAAF requiring athletes to negatively dope themselves. Instead of PEDs, we now have PRDs (R for reducing).


Yeah, the irony of that isn't lost on me.
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 9:22 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Omar Little wrote:
I absolutely hear you on the politics of applying it in this one case, but then again, this one case is where there's a clear and defined advantage. And while her advantage is natural, it isn't natural within the biological restricted group of athletes competing. A man's testosterone advantage is natural too. So it becomes a much less black and white and more gray area.


What you’re saying is fair, but as I’ve thought about this, I’m struck by the incongruity of the IAAF requiring athletes to negatively dope themselves. Instead of PEDs, we now have PRDs (R for reducing).


which goes back to the discussion of simply setting acceptable ranges of hormones. Beyond this discussion, we know there can be significant variances of free testosterone flowing in the bodies of average natural (no hormone supplementation) XY chromosome males.....yet if one is on the very low end of that range, most sports do not allow therapy to elevate their levels to the higher level of some of their competition.

I should point out that my views with anything related to PED's is likely extremely bias. I am very supportive of PED supplementation in general, while I do think there has to be limitations in regards to sanctioned sporting events, I will never understand the negative image PED's have garnered in the US. The scare tactics and bs claims about PED side effects have been blown out of proportion more than any type of drug I can recall. I think as a society, we should be doing tons more research in regards to the benefits of PED's, Growth Hormone, SARMS, etc. The only thing the last 2-3 decades of PR War on PED's has resulted in is very uninformed users, injecting products they do not understand or even know where it originated, and having no clue what is taking place in their bodies once substance is injected.
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 10:12 am    Post subject:

LakerSanity wrote:
Stop categorizing people as male or female, just as hormone levels in a hierarchy like the boxing system. Then you don't have any problem and anyone can be any sex or gender they want to be. They just compete in the tier that matches their hormone level and there you go.

I think one day we all end up with unisex sports and a much less binary society anyway.


This is chaos when applied.

Imagine the Masters in golf. Every year they can have 5 champions, one for each hormone level.

"Tiger Woods becomes the first athlete to win every major at every hormone level"
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 10:40 am    Post subject:

The Juggernaut wrote:
What gender would this person be classified as scientifically? This feels like a grey area that I believe doesn't have a solution yet.


Technically? I believe male as I read she has XY chromosomes.

Complicated and extremely rare case.
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 12:18 pm    Post subject:

after my last post....I was getting a haircut and thinking about this case for some reason. I realized there are just way too many unknowns on my part to have a reasonable opinion. I know next to nothing about the disorder discussed.....I know nothing that has been verified about Semenya's test results and how those compare to other competitors....and even if I did know, someone would have to explain to me what that means in regards to performance. So I have no opinion on the case.
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 1:09 pm    Post subject:

LakerSanity wrote:
Stop categorizing people as male or female, just as hormone levels in a hierarchy like the boxing system. Then you don't have any problem and anyone can be any sex or gender they want to be. They just compete in the tier that matches their hormone level and there you go.

I think one day we all end up with unisex sports and a much less binary society anyway.


That’s just re-categorizing people.
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