Namibia unhappy with World Athletics decision on female testosterone levels suppression

Windhoek (Namibia), March 28 (IANS) Namibia’s athletics body has expressed disappointment over the World Athletics (WA) Council decision requiring female athletes classified with a different sexual development to suppress testosterone levels and setting requirements for transgender athletes.

Announced on March 23, the WA Council decision tightens restrictions and requirements on athletes with Differences of Sex Development (DSD), cutting the maximum amount of plasma testosterone for athletes in half to 2.5 nanomoles per litre of blood from five. The vote passed with 71 per cent of the WA Council in favour.

“In the past, WA had a regulation that allowed DSD athletes to compete in events outside the 400m to the mile without having to suppress their testosterone. As of March 31, 2023, WA increased restrictions on DSD athletes in all women’s events,” Athletics Namibia Executive Board noted in a statement on Tuesday.

Athletics Namibia spokesperson Lot Ndamanomhata said Namibia finds the regulations discriminatory, unfair, stigmatising, and not safeguarding all women in sport.

“We are disappointed that athletes are being required to change their natural conditions to be able to eligible to compete,” he said.

Notably, the decision will prohibit Namibia’s athletes like Olympic 200m silver medalist Christine Mboma and compatriot Beatrice Masilingi from competing in this year’s WA continental tour events, the Diamond League series, and the World Championships.

“We will use the platforms available within the WA structures to engage in the issue and with other stakeholders and developmental partners to convince WA to relook at the science and ensure fairness and non-discrimination of the athletes affected by these regulations,” he added.

Meanwhile, Athletics Namibia called for fairness and for a policy that allows all athletes unhindered access to the sport they love.

–IANS

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