The World Medical Association (WMA) has asked doctors not to implement the IAAF’s new eligibility regulations for classifying female athletes.
This follows the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to dismiss Caster Semenya’s appeal against rules designed to decrease naturally high testosterone levels in some female runners.
The decision by the CAS means that women with elevated testosterone will have to take suppressive treatment if they wish to compete against women in certain events.
In a 2-1 decision, CAS judges dismissed Semenya’s appeal against the measures imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that compel “hyperandrogenic” athletes – or those with “differences of sexual development” (DSD) – to artificially lower their testosterone levels.
The judges said that although the rules are “discriminatory… such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the Restricted Events.”
But the WMA, a body that represents 112 National Medical Associations across the globe, says doctors should not dispense medication to female athletes with high testosterone levels at the moment saying the regulations are “based on weak evidence from a single study.”
In a statement on their website, WMA president Dr. Leonid Eidelman said: “We have strong reservations about the ethical validity of these regulations. They are based on weak evidence from a single study, which is currently being widely debated by the scientific community. They are also contrary to a number of key WMA ethical statements and declarations, and as such we are calling for their immediate withdrawal.”
The body had originally made their call on April 29, two days before the CAS verdict.