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Athletics

World governing body bans transgender women athletes

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Athletics – 2022 European Championships – Munich, Germany – August 20, 2022 General view of athletes after the start of the Women’s 20Km Race Walk Final REUTERS/Lukas Barth

World Athletics has banned transgender women from competing in elite female competitions and tightened testosterone restrictions for other athletes, the governing body said on Thursday.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said that the decision to exclude transgender women who had gone through male puberty was based “on the overarching need to protect the female category”.

The tighter measures around one of the most contentious and divisive issues in sport follow a similar move by World Aquatics in 2022.

World Athletics’ council also voted to cut the maximum amount of plasma testosterone for athletes with Differences in Sex Development (DSD) in half, to 2.5 nanomoles per litre from five.

DSD athletes will also have to reduce their testosterone levels below the new limit for a minimum of 24 months across all events to compete, double the previous time.

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The governing body had previously floated the option of transgender athletes being allowed to compete in the female category if they, too, maintained testosterone levels below 2.5 nanomoles per litre for 24 months.

Yet it said on Thursday that it became apparent there was little support within the sport for that proposal.

“We’re not saying no forever,” Coe told a news conference.

Coe announced the formation of a working group, which will be chaired by a transgender athlete, to further study the issue of trans inclusion.

“The working group will look at any prevailing or changing or furthering of our understanding in that space,” Coe said. “We don’t know enough, we now need to know more, and that is the journey that we’re on. But we weren’t prepared to risk the female category on that basis.”

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The tighter testosterone rules will impact DSD athletes such as two-times Olympic 800 metre champion Caster Semenya, Christine Mboma, the 2020 Olympic silver medallist in the 200m, and Francine Niyonsaba, who finished runner-up to Semenya in the 800 at the 2016 Olympics.

WA regulations around DSD previously required women competing in events between 400 metres and a mile to maintain testosterone levels below five nanomoles per litre.

The governing body on Thursday introduced interim provisions for athletes already competing outside the restricted events, who will be required to suppress their testosterone level to 2.5 nanomoles per litre for six months.

This would prevent several women from competing at the World Athletics Championships in August.

Since being barred from the 800m, Burundi’s Niyonsaba turned her attention to the 5,000, winning the Diamond League Final in 2021.

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She was disqualified in her heat of the 5,000m at the Tokyo Olympics for a lane violation, while Semenya failed to qualify for the Games.

Namibia’s Mboma, prevented from running the 400m, switched to the 200m, winning silver in Tokyo.

DSD athletes have male testes but do not produce enough of the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that is necessary for the formation of male external genitalia.

Coe said the decisions were made in consultation with numerous stakeholders including 40 member federations, coaches, athletes, plus a range of community groups including trans groups, United Nations experts and the International Olympic Committee.

Swimming’s world governing body World Aquatics voted last June to bar transgender women from elite competition if they had experienced any part of male puberty. A scientific panel had found that even after reducing their testosterone levels through medication, transgender women still had a significant advantage.

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That vote passed with 71% of the national federations in favour.

-Reuters

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Athletics

Behold, CAS statement on Tobi Amusan

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Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan is the winner as the Court of Arbitration for Sports, CAS has rejected the appeals filed by World Athletics and  WADA.

The decision confirms the decision taken by the World Athletics disciplinary tribunal finding that Tobi Amusan did not commit any anti-doping rule violation.

Here is the full statement of CAS.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeals filed by

World Athletics (WA) and by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against the decision issued on 17 August 2023 (the Challenged Decision) by the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal (WADT) in relation to the hurdler Oluwatobiloba (Tobi) Amusan (Nigeria).

Accordingly, the Challenged Decision in which the WADT considered that Tobi Amusan did not violate Rule 2.4 of the WA Anti-Doping Rules (WA ADR) and that no period of ineligibility should be imposed on the Athlete is confirmed.

The Athlete was initially charged with committing an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) under Rule 2.4 WA ADR following three alleged Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period.

In their respective appeal to CAS, WA and WADA had sought the imposition of a two-year period of ineligibility. The CAS Panel held a hearing on 19 January 2024. Having deliberated, the CAS Panel has issued its decision today dismissing both appeals. The CAS Panel unanimously acknowledged that the Athlete committed two filing failures but did not confirm the existence of a missed test, alleged by WA and WADA, which would have been the third Whereabouts Failure committed within a 12-month

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period. Accordingly, the CAS Panel concluded that the Athlete did not commit an ADRV and that the Challenged Decision should be confirmed.

The reasoned award will be published by CAS unless the parties request confidentiality.

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Athletics

Tobi Amusan floors WADA and World Athletics!

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Tobi Amusan’s Trial Begins Today -

Nigeria’s Paris 2024 medal hopeful, Tobi Amusan has been cleared as the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the World Athletics.

 She is therefore cleared to feature at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Amusan is the 100m hurdles world record holder.

The athlete  was charged in July last year with missing three anti-doping tests in 12 months but was cleared of the offence by the Disciplinary Tribunal of the sport’s governing body, World Athletics.

The Integrity Unit of the World Athletics appealed the clearance which has now been dismissed by CAS, the final arbiter in the case.

CAS in its statement remarked that its panel “unanimously acknowledged that the athlete committed two filing failures but did not confirm the existence of a missed test, alleged by WA and WADA, which would have been the third Whereabouts Failure committed within 12 months.”

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Amusan set the world record of 12.12 seconds in the world championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July 2022 and went on to win the title.

She finished sixth in the world championships in Budapest last year.

World Athletics’ anti-doping rules say any athlete failing to declare their whereabouts for a doping test on three occasions over 12 months is ineligible to compete for two years.

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Athletics

Tobi Amusan thanks God for success at CAS in doping case

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An elated Nigeria’s 100m hurdles world record holder, Tobi Amusan has thanked God for her success in an appeal filled against her by the Athletics Integrity Unit  of the World Athletics.

Had the appeal been upheld, ,Amusan would  have has to miss the Paris 2024 Olymoics.

“It’s ALL GOD” Amusan said in an Instagram post alongside the court’s announcement.

Amusan, who broke the world record during her semi-final race at the 2022 world championships, is a hot favourite in her signature event at the Paris Olympics, which begin on July 26.

World Athletics and WADA did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

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