Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gender Tested Athlete

Listed are two articles about a current gender "scandal"/situation regarding a very talented 18 year old runner from South Africa. The first is an ESPN article posted about the situation some reactions from people close to her. The second was posted from yahoo sports and shows an ill effect of the situation- the runner's decision to not compete.,188930

From gently following this the past few days, I can honestly feel for this athlete because of the attention given to sexuality. Whether male, female, or "intersexual" the fact of the matter is, this person is a hell of a runner (World Record Holder) which is being severly overshadowed by all this legal stuff. I understand the importance of distinguishing a gender in this case for records and competition placement standards, but the media involvement especially directed towards her family is unnessesarily absurd and absolutely saddening.

Born with this type of disorder does raise the question: How are these athletes going to be treated by the IAAF and other international governing bodies? I'm not sure I can hypothesize the outcome in this case, so we'll have to wait and see ourselves...

Implications of this decision could be a turning point in sport. The decision could either maintain a strict boundary between male and female based on specific medical testing to determine secondary sexual characteristics and the concentration of hormone levels within the body, or could "open the flood gates" for more borderline athletes and increase the temptation for steroid use to obtain a competitive advantage. Thank you for reading this week, and thank you Paul for sending one of these articles over to me this morning for review!

No comments:

Post a Comment