“I had no choice,” she claims. “I have often thought of killing myself,” said the athlete who wishes to remain anonymous. “They stole my life, my existence. Just like that, they took away my dream. I wish that I had died in her hands at that time, because she would then have been held accountable and punished.”
The article was about two athletes with difference in differences in sex development (DSD). A DSD is a mismatch between an individual’s chromosomes, or genetic material, and the appearance of the individual’s genitals. Both athletes eventually made their transition into becoming females and took up Olympic running as their respective careers. However, neither had their internal testes removed during the transition.
World Athletics, until October 2019 known as IAAF, is the international governing body for the sport of athletics, covering track and field, cross country running, road running, racewalking, mountain running and ultrarunning. They had told the two athletes to undergo surgery to remove their internal testes due to the fact that they exerted “high natural testosterone levels”, which is what the World Athletics commission thought gave them a competitive advantage. This competitive advantage is widely regarded as factual amongst doctors, researchers, and scientists. The facts are that testosterone levels in men are 295 to 1,150 nanograms per deciliter of blood, while the levels in the women are 12 to 61 nanograms per deciliter of blood. Testosterone “builds muscle,” according to Dr. Benjamin D. Levine, who studies sex differences in athletic performance at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “It builds skeletal muscle, it builds cardiac muscle. It increases the number of red blood cells.” All this correlates to heightened athletic performance especially in the sport of running. You cannot blame the World Athletics commission for trying to impose regulations on the two female athletes. It is a mere fact that they had a competitive advantage amongst other women participating in the sport. Denying this is delusional.
Now, accepting these facts doesn’t justify the horrors that the two female athletes had to endure. The hormonal interventions carried out on the basis of regulations, along with inadequate aftercare led to massive mental health consequences for the athletes. Additionally, the alleged issue of keeping the athletes in the dark about how the decrease in their testosterone levels would affect their careers is very wrong. Though it may be obvious to many what the results of their surgery would entail, it may have not been obvious to them and we cannot fault them for that.
Morgan, Tom. “Female Athletes Claim Careers Ruined after Being ‘Coerced’ into Surgery to
Curb Testosterone Levels.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 27 Sept. 2019,