It seems New Zealand have picked Laurel Hubbard for women’s Olympic weight lifting for Tokyo 2021. After years of legal fighting over Caster Semenya eventually concluding it wasn’t fair for her to compete in the women’s athletics this feels very much like a contradiction to me
I think she has to have her testosterone below a certain level, which would also apply to Caster Semenya if she’d competed over her usual distance.
There must be a huge advantage for anyone who’s previously trained as a man though, particularly in the heavier weightlifting categories.
I understand inclusion but I think there is an unfair advantage here due to the development period happening earlier with higher levels of T.
I don’t see how the gains made by males during puberty can ever be ignored. Gutted for any women who have wasted their lives training to have it taken away like this. It’s not fair.
It’s far from an easy discussion.-With no medical background, it seems certain to me that the average body will end up with physical benefits from going through puberty as a male.- It also seems obvious to me that no-one should be discriminated against for being born in the wrong body. This decision was always going to be unfair to someone.-
Another way of looking at it is that pretty much all elite athletes went through puberty with benefits the average body doesn’t have- that’s kind of where the “elite” bit comes in.
On balance I think I tolerate the discrimination against a trans athlete slightly better than I tolerate the skewing of the sports playing field…
Maybe one day the science will progress enough that we can rate athletes on the percentage of their potential they’ve reached rather than absolute results (sort of like horse handicapping).
I quite enjoy Ross Tucker’s Science of Sport Podcast and although I know some people find him abrasive I find it hard to disagree with his analysis of pretty much:
- Womens Sport is a protected category, just as juniors age group is as otherwise you would just have an ‘open’ category and pretty much everything would be won by mature men as this is where pretty much all records exist.
- Protected categories are necessary to ensure people have a playing field in which they can compete within the ‘normal’ expected bell curve distribution of that category. For example, two 13 year old boys can vary widely as to their stage of development but you are highly unlikely to see a 13 year boy that is as developed as senior male
- If we dont think protected categories exist then we should just make the whole thing open category and we’ll never see a woman at the olympics again, considering that in fields like athletics for example, many U18 boys times are faster than female olympic times, jumps, etc.
Weightlifting of all disciplines; she should do the Boxing too.
This is not inclusion. Its erosion of women’s rights. Plenty of medical research that shows men are 30% stronger than women, women have bodies designed for carrying and delivering babies, men have bodies designed for hunting and gathering and lifting heavy shit.
She has an unfair advantage by having a bigger heart /lungs , its not just about testosterone , her Physiology is different, less body fat etc . I am all for inclusion but this seems unfair. - I also feel not enough long term research has been carried out to make this sort of decision.
Agree. As much as Ross can divide people with his attitude on doping, I think he’s been very well spoken recently on the issue of intersex/transgender in sport.
A horrible ethical minefield, but ultimately a line has to be drawn somewhere to create a fair “women’s” category. Nevermind the safety arguments for contact sports.
before or after the trans conversion??
No conversion involved here, I think - she is biologically a man and competed as a man until the age of 35.
The only winners here will be the lawyers…
and the beginning of the end of women’s amateur sport…
She had reassigment surgery in 2012 and began competing in 2016. The IOC do not require reassignment surgery for male to female transgender athletes as long as T is below 10nM/l for at least 12 months.
If they genuinely think it is fair, then women should be allowed to take Testosterone through their teenage years whilst training, come off it aged 20 and then compete 18 months later once it’s left their system.
So a born women who has a genetic abnormality meaning higher than normal T levels can’t compete but a born man who had a bit of surgery can. I feel for Semenya in all this. She’s a genetic “freak” but then arent all elite athletes. Should Thorpe have had his toes cut off or Phelps worn splints to counterv hyper mobility or the guys with bigger hearts only compete at a certain max HR
I want to know what female athletes think as it is their sport being affected, not middle aged white guys, and I mean actually think not the scared to speak out PC version.