Semenya loses appeal at CAS

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by The_Blindside, May 1, 2019.

  1. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside Senior Member

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  3. Old Hooker

    Old Hooker Senior Member

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    I’m an athletics fan. This has been going on for years and is phenomenally difficult. There is no right or universally fair answer.

    On balance I think this is the least worst option. Feel desperately for Semenya and others like her - there’s no cheating, there’s been humiliation, but I can understand the rationale behind the outcome.

    Really don’t like it only applying to certain events though. Doubt the science is that precise and it just feels like it’s targeted at Semenya.

    The only certainty is that this will not be the end of the arguments.

    Here’s how GB athlete Lynsey Sharp, a top class 800m runner, saw it after Rio....

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/20...ses-obvious-hypoadrogenous-women-having-bein/
     
  4. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside Senior Member

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    Agreed I don’t see this being the last we hear of this. Bit of a mess of a decision really; didn’t offer any clarity.
     
  5. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    Well, the SA Government already stated that they will study the complete judgement and then lodge an appeal to the Supreme Court in Lausanne.

    It's a long shot, as the appeal's court hardly ever overrules the findings. But it's now a matter of interpretation.

    I think the reason is that the Judgement was 2-1, makes it even more interesting, and the fact that the Court said that the IAAF has to amend their protocols for certain events specifically.

    The thing is that no matter what the outcome was, Caster has been fighting a losing battle since this all started. The IAAF has been humiliating her ever since they found her to be different that the other female athletes, and the manner in which they have been targeting her specifically has been something horrible to watch.

    It's a pity the court didn't have more of an objection to the insincere manner in which the IAAF has been handling the hyperandrogenous athletes.
     
  6. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside Senior Member

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    Well she ran her last race at 800m before the new rules kick in 1 min 54.99 secs. A damn fine time.

    Still don’t get why the world record of 1980s like the one for the 800m for Women at 1.53.28 still stands and is widely discredited as being run by a the drug enhanced Kratochvilova. But a woman with elevated testosterone who still can’t even beat this time is being forced to take medication to lower it to a suitable level.
     
  7. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

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    Why does she have an issue with lowering her testosterone though ?
     
  8. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside Senior Member

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    Because it’s naturally occurring. Should Usain Bolt have been handicapped because he had a longer stride length? Or Phelps because of his greater wingspan compared to his rivals. Unfortunately she is hyperandrogenous. But she’s not fast enough to compete with the men. So what do they do create a third category for hyperandrogenous athletes?
     
  9. themole25

    themole25 Senior Member

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    it's unfortunate but i agree that it is the least worst option

    i don't like comparing testosterone levels to stride length or wing span... testosterone is the PED of choice for a reason

    I really feel for her but the whole point of women's sports is to provide competition for those that were born with lower levels of testosterone
     
  10. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

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    If hyperandrogenous is neither a man nor a woman, I don't see how such a person is eligible for a mens' or a womans' event.

    It's all very well someone saying that they identify as a woman, but by definition she is not a woman based on the above hypothesis. If someone who is hyperandrogenous can identify as a woman and thereby enter an event for women, would men not be discriminated against if they identified as women but were denied entry into womens' events ?

    I don't see how self identification is relevant, and I don't see how someone who by definition is not a woman can be allowed to compete in an event for women.

    Nevertheless a compromise has been reached whereby someone who identifies as a woman can be allowed to compete in womens' events, if she elects to remove the advantage which she has by not being by definition a woman. If she refuses to lower her testosterone, it suggests to me that she is acknowledging that she isn't the best runner in the race but the runner with the most testosterone. That defeats the point of the competition in my view.
     
  11. themole25

    themole25 Senior Member

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    are you saying she shouldn't be able to compete with the men? cause if you are that's some bullshit.

    i think men should just become open division and women can have their own
     
  12. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside Senior Member

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    A compromise but only between 400m to 1 mile. Nothing stopping Caster, in theory jumping up to 5000m and not take medication. CAS need more evidence for events above 1 mile. Talk about lack of consistency.
     
  13. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

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    How is it bullshit ?

    If it's a mens' event, then only men should be allowed to compete.

    If people other than men are going to be allowed to compete in an event then the eligibility criteria for the event needs to change.

    Regardless though, whilst Semenya (I've only just realised how ironic that name is btw) is no doubt an excellent athlete, she wouldn't be competitive in elite sport if it was open to all regardless of gender, so at a professional level I don't see that it's an issue.

    The solutions appear to be:

    1. do away with womens' athletics completely and have open events.
    2. change the mens and womens categories to those with more than and less than a certain level of testosterone (not so catchy)
    3. as 2 but keep the name mens and womens
    4. introduce a third event (would be a farce imo)

    they are going down road 2 at the moment, which to me is the only sensible solution. to do otherwise would be to wreck athletics and other sports which have worked perfectly well for goodness knows how long.

    At the end of the day, having events for men and for women is in today's world discriminatory, and that's the nub of the problem. But if it's done away with and just an open event for all is provided, then that essentially means the end of elite sport for women, which would be completely peverse. So on this basis the arbitrators' ruling that the situation is discriminatory but at the same time reasonable, is itself both understandable and reasonable, even if on the face of it it goes against commonly accepted modern beliefs.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  14. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

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    I don't see how she can't be at an advantage based on her gender at the longer events, but I don't know anything about it really so maybe she isn't. It would be interesting to get a layman's explanation though of how it isn't an issue at the longer events.
     
  15. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside Senior Member

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    To be fair she would get massacred in the men’s event; her best time is around 1 min 55 secs for 800 a full 10-11 seconds behind what most men run for the 800m. And that’s not even going to Rudisha’s time of under 1 min 41 secs.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  16. themole25

    themole25 Senior Member

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    oh no doubt she would get her ass kicked but i think to not even allow her to qualify would be absurd
     
  17. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

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    If she appeared in the mens' race AND the womens' race, would you approve ?
     
  18. ncurd

    ncurd Senior Member

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    She is allowed to compete in mens races any woman is. It's actually an open category to find the best naturally occurring human. This where the Phelps and Bolt arguements fall flat as Caster it allowed to compete against them.

    Problem testosterone according to science is such a thing that it puts women at a natural disadvantage in any sport that that relies on physical power.

    So we created a sub category that allows anatomical women to compete with each other so they are afforded the same opportunity as men at Elite level.

    Next issue is Trans-Women who have naturally occurring high testosterone. We ask them to limit that in sport because it would take seconds for a man to abuse it be found out and cause the trans community untold harm.

    So then what happens with Intersex people? Are they allowed to compete with women? Should they compete only in the open category despite being at a disadvantage to men? Do they get their own category? Do we limit what make them Intersex so they compete fairly at the womens level? Do we accept this as a one off and wait until it becomes endemic? Is there actually a fair answer?

    The last question is where I sit I don't have one and just accept this is horrible complex and Caster should never have been humiliated like this. I'm inclined to just let her compete as the problem isnt endemic.



    On distance apparently testerone doesn't improve your capability in endurance sports as much as it does physical. In men v women it has occurred in ultra marathons that women have won and set course records. One assumes in Caster's specific case they think at about a mile her advantages are lost whereas a man get them for much further.
     
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  19. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside Senior Member

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    The argument about Bolt and Phelps is more to to with them not having to limit what is natural to them i.e. Bolt’s longer legs and his ability to have a longer stride pattern and maintain the frequency of this over his shorter rivals and Phelps’ massive wingspan compared to his rivals or his feet, which are like flippers, rather than Caster being allowed to compete in the men’s categories.

    Caster having to take something to limit something which she was born with is no different to the physical advantages that Bolt and phelps were born with. What is abhorrent to me is her having to take medication to limit something which is not her fault because IAAF can’t categorise her into male or female.
     
  20. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

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    Oh come on, this is ridiculous.

    Firstly, there's no equivalence with bolt and phelps. Semeneya wouldn't be told to shorten her legs or her feet, or change whatever other advantages bolt and phelps have. Semenya's additional attributes, are something which are at odds with the very definition of the eligibility requirements for the events in which she is competing.

    Secondly, it's absurd to blame IAAF for being unable to categorise her as male or female. The IAAF aren't to blame for the athlete having mixed genitalia. Categorising her into male or female is EXACTLY what they are effectively doing, by clarifying the eligibility criteria for womens' events. Of course the result of those clarifications will result in potential discrimination, because without discriminating the events can't exist. It's up to the IAAF to determine where they will put that discriminatory line, and they have chosen to put it where it excludes people who have both male and female attributes. That's entirely up to them, and is the very obvious choice, as otherwise the vast majority of people with attributes of being a woman could not compete competitively. Semenya isn't - as she claims - being prevented from running, she isn't even being prevented from competing (as someone else correctly pointed out), she is being prevented from competing in events for which is biologically ineligible.

    Unlike any similar athletes before her though, she has been given the option to take advantage of the advances in science which enable her to change her biology in order to make her eligible, should she so choose. To me the remarkable thing here isn't that she is being told she can only compete with reduced testosterone, it's that there's a way in which she is being allowed to compete in a womens' race whilst having male genitalia. This is being looked at as an act of discrimination. In fact, it's just as easy to look at it the other way and regard it as an incredible effort to avoid discriminating. The IAAF have handled it in an examplary manner imo, and deserve enormous credit, not only for making the event fair for biological women, but for opening it up to those who previously would never have been able to.
     
  21. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside Senior Member

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    Phelps and Bolt were both able to take advantage of their physical advantages, which gave them their competitive edge. I wasn’t suggesting that Semenya should shorten her legs or feet. She hasn’t cheated to get those elevated testosterone levels and neither did Phelps or Bolt to get theirs.

    And where do you draw the line with regard to regulating testosterone levels? Do you start regulating men’s as well, as some men have higher levels relative to other men and then have a competitive advantage?


    But the IAAF have allowed women’s world records from the 1980s to still stand, which can’t possibly have been done without PEDs. Semenya even with elevated testosterone still can’t get within a second of the 800m world record, which has stood since 1983 (pre out of competition drug testing). Flo Jo’s 10.49 secs in the 100m is the most ridiculous time which will unlikely ever to be broken and can’t possibly have been performed without PEDs.

    Caster is basically being told to take something to suppress something naturally occurring to her whilst the IAAF still recognise times performed by women who took PEDs to enhance their performance as the world’s best times performed by a woman. It’s a stance which is irreconcilable and IMO any records pre 1988 and still standing should no longer be recognised and assumed PED enhanced.
     
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