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Caster Semenya


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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled that the IAAF are able to make South African middle distance runner Caster Semenya take testosterone suppressing medication to compete. Semenya has a natural condition that means she has higher testosterone than would normally be expected for a woman. Semenya has faced allegations that she has an unfair advantage but there’s no suggestion that she is a cheat or doing anything unnatural.

 

What do P&Bers think of this ruling?

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1 minute ago, ICTChris said:

 

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled that the IAAF are able to make South African middle distance runner Caster Semenya take testosterone suppressing medication to compete. Semenya has a natural condition that means she has higher testosterone than would normally be expected for a woman. Semenya has faced allegations that she has an unfair advantage but there’s no suggestion that she is a cheat or doing anything unnatural.

 

What do P&Bers think of this ruling?

 

She's intersex which means she was born in that biological condition. I feel sorry for her, it's like handicapping a horse but with drugs rather than weights. She can still race in other events though, they were specific about which they were talking about. I wouldn't want to be a judge in these cases.

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It's a really difficult one.  She's completely blameless, but the excess testoserone clearly gives her an advantage over 'normal' women.

On the other hand, isn't this just an unusual example of a genetic advantage of some sort, which all elite sportspeople have, to some extent?  What about Usain Bolt's fast twitch muscle fibres, which are apparently far more twitchy than almost anyone else?

A line has to be drawn somewhere and so comes down to where the line is drawn.  I wouldn't want to be the one drawing the line.

What I do find very bizarre is that the ruling covers only 400m up to 1 mile.  Surely if the condition gives a significant advantage at these distances, it would give an advantage at longer and shorter distances too?

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8 minutes ago, welshbairn said:

I do m8, fucking massive. You c**t. Ruel St?

Heh. I'm fortunate to live a couple of streets away from Ruel St. Every time I pass it, there's always a gang of angry-looking football fans squaring off against one another. 

Edited by Cardinal Richelieu
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1 minute ago, Cardinal Richelieu said:

Btw, I can't be the only one to have just noticed that her surname contains the word "semen" surely?

Pervert.

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Without going Full Banana, the whole trans-gender issue is going to be a minefield for sport's governing bodies in the coming years and as others have said, I'm glad I'm not the one having to make the decisions. If a hypothetical athlete identifies as a woman but has masculine traits which give her a physical advantage, it's easy to see why her competitors would feel aggrieved. Yet do we forbid her from competing as a woman and if so, how do we determine how much of an advantage she's being given versus how much is natural talent. What if she's just faster?

It reminds me a little of the controversy when sprinters using artificial spring limbs first started competing in regular races. Some of the able-bodied runners felt the technology of the springs, plus the weight loss from the missing limbs gave them an unfair advantage. I recall one athlete saying "OK then, you chop your legs off and see what advantage it gives you." And didn't Oscar Pistorius once lodge a complaint because another athlete had better technology in his artificial limbs than Oscar had?

It's going to be interesting to see where this all goes.

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Without going Full Banana, the whole trans-gender issue is going to be a minefield for sport's governing bodies in the coming years and as others have said, I'm glad I'm not the one having to make the decisions. If a hypothetical athlete identifies as a woman but has masculine traits which give her a physical advantage, it's easy to see why her competitors would feel aggrieved. Yet do we forbid her from competing as a woman and if so, how do we determine how much of an advantage she's being given versus how much is natural talent. What if she's just faster?
It reminds me a little of the controversy when sprinters using artificial spring limbs first started competing in regular races. Some of the able-bodied runners felt the technology of the springs, plus the weight loss from the missing limbs gave them an unfair advantage. I recall one athlete saying "OK then, you chop your legs off and see what advantage it gives you." And didn't Oscar Pistorius once lodge a complaint because another athlete had better technology in his artificial limbs than Oscar had?
It's going to be interesting to see where this all goes.
My vague recollection of the Pistorious one was that he claimed that the other guy's prosthetic blades were longer than his legs would have been, so gave him an unfair advantage as it meant he had a longer stride than he would have naturally.

Have to agree with others, this is going to be a nightmare to sort out in years to come. Feel very sorry for Semenya, she has done nothing wrong.
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5 hours ago, Shotgun said:

Without going Full Banana, the whole trans-gender issue is going to be a minefield for sport's governing bodies in the coming years and as others have said, I'm glad I'm not the one having to make the decisions. If a hypothetical athlete identifies as a woman but has masculine traits which give her a physical advantage, it's easy to see why her competitors would feel aggrieved. Yet do we forbid her from competing as a woman and if so, how do we determine how much of an advantage she's being given versus how much is natural talent. What if she's just faster?

It reminds me a little of the controversy when sprinters using artificial spring limbs first started competing in regular races. Some of the able-bodied runners felt the technology of the springs, plus the weight loss from the missing limbs gave them an unfair advantage. I recall one athlete saying "OK then, you chop your legs off and see what advantage it gives you." And didn't Oscar Pistorius once lodge a complaint because another athlete had better technology in his artificial limbs than Oscar had?

It's going to be interesting to see where this all goes.

I actually think the trans gender issue is a really easy one to deal with - you don't let trans gender women (ie male to female) complete in female only events.  That's the only sensible solution.

The Caster Semenya situation is very different and much more complicated.

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