U.N. condemns making women athletes cut testosterone in intersex row

Forcing female athletes to regulate testosterone could breach international human rights rules, according to the United Nation’s top human rights group in a rare foray into sports amid an escalating row over intersex and transgender competitors.

The move came as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) delayed judgment until April on athlete Caster Semenya’s appeal hearing against the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) rules on testosterone suppression.

South African 800-metres double Olympic champion Semenya is seeking to overturn a set of IAAF regulations that aim to lower the testosterone levels of intersex athletes. Semenya was born with the intersex condition hyproandrogenism, which leads to higher amounts of testosterone. Some rivals say this gives her a competitive advantage.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) passed a South African-led resolution on eliminating discrimination against women and girls in sport that criticized the IAAF. It called on all countries to ensure sports organizations “refrain from developing and enforcing policies and practices that force, coerce or otherwise pressure women and girl athletes into undergoing unnecessary, humiliating and harmful medical procedures”. Read more via Reuters