After reading the article, “You say you are a woman? That should be enough.” I completely changed my views on women with naturally high levels of testosterone. I used to think it was highly unfair for women with that kind of advantage, but now I don’t get the difference between having lots of testosterone compared to big lungs, or long legs, or even height. Athletes are competitive beings, created with amazing genetic combinations from the body to the mind. It takes determination, motivation and strength to endure the kind of training elite athletes go through to become great along with a whole lot of talent and good genetics. Not everyone has what it take to be an elite athlete and this is because every single person’s body is made differently. Lance Armstrong was built to ride a bike, Michael Phelps was built to swim. No one is taking away their achievements for their physical advantages.
Men don’t get tested for high levels of testosterone, so why should women? Testosterone gives an advantage in both categories. Even though we learned today women are more effected by it, both genders will have an advantage with greater levels of testosterone. A high jumper is great with long legs; should we disqualify her for having an advantage? A sprinter is great if he or she was born with fast muscle fibers. Should we or the IOC discriminate with the more fast fibers he or she has? I don’t think so.
I agree with the authors that if a woman is legally a woman, she should be able to compete. An issue I could foresee is countries trying to mask the gender of a particular person. This is where is gets tricky because then tests would have to be issued, and where does that testing stop after checking the reproductive systems?
I don’t have the answer to that but I do know that testosterone levels should not be the deal breaker. Advantages are everywhere in sports, and I think the first problem we, as a world, have to conquer is eliminating doping. As we talked about today, many world records have been set mainly due to the athletes’ use of illegal drugs. This should be the first priority.
I also agree with the authors that if any tests are being executed the athlete should be allowed to compete while undergoing the scrutiny. It is unfair for the individual to have their season come to a complete halt just because someone, somewhere, guesses that their success is due to factors besides hard work. If tests come back positive then awards can be revoked, but until then the athletes should be allowed to compete. It is unfortunate to see Caster Semenya’s, and many athletes like her, career go down the drain because she lost so much time off of training due to testing.
I have attached a picture of Lance Armstrong and a video about Michael Phelps. Their bodies were built for their sports and let them have unfair advantages. Should they be disqualified? (Disregarding Armstrong’s other* advantages.)