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Olympic Medalist Responds to Testosterone Regulations, Says They’re ‘Unfair’

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Kenyan Olympic medalist Margaret Wambui criticized the International Association of Athletics Federations’ testosterone regulations, saying it’s “unfair” to require athletes to alter their hormone levels for competitions if they are deemed to be too high.

Wambui, 23, said she received a letter earlier in May stating her testosterone levels were over the limit.

The runner does not plan on taking any suppressants, according to The Associated Press.

“It’s wrong of [the] IAAF to ask us to take medicine to alter our natural body function,” Wambui said Tuesday.

Wambui won a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympic 800-meter race, and was the world junior champion in the race two years prior.

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Wambui and two-time 800-meter race champion Caster Semenya contested the IAAF’s statements that competitors with sexual development differences have unfair advantages in regard to muscle mass, strength and oxygen-carrying capacity.

The Swiss Court of Arbitration for Sport decided 2-1 in early May that though restrictions on testosterone levels can be discriminatory, such discrimination is a “necessary, reasonable and proportionate means” of ensuring the fairness of female track and field competitions, The New York Times reported.

Semenya is reported to be intersex, a term defined by the United Nations as people born with sex characteristics “that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies.”

“This ruling is very unfair,” Wambui told the AP.

Do you agree with Wambui that the testosterone regulations are "unfair?"

“I have grown up knowing that I want to do athletics as a career and achieve a lot through it. Why wait for me to establish myself as an 800-meter athlete then tell me that I need to take medication to compete in the same event?”

“The ruling has affected me greatly because you are not sure of what to train for … this season I was focusing on the world championships and Diamond League races but all that effort has gone to waste,” Wambui added.

“The IAAF is grateful to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” the IAFF wrote in news release after the court decision, “for its detailed and prompt response to the challenge made to its Eligibility Regulations for the Female Classification for athletes with differences of sex development.”

The organization further said it “is pleased that the Regulations were found to be a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s legitimate aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the Restricted Events.”

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