EXPLAINER: What exactly are the testosterone rules of the trail? | Sports

The answer, under current rules, is to ban athletes from certain events unless they agree to artificially lower their testosterone to a level set by World Athletics.

This has caused huge controversy for many reasons, but the most moving seems to be this: Track authorities are essentially asking athletes to artificially manipulate their natural hormone levels and change their physiology – effectively slowing themselves down – s ‘they want to participate in big events like the Olympics and the world championships.


The Namibian teens both qualified for the Olympic 200-meter final in their first major competition, raising eyebrows. In the semifinals, Mboma passed American Gabby Thomas, who is the second-fastest woman of all time over 200 meters. This left Thomas scrambling to advance to a final where she is one of the favorites for gold. She squeezed in with a wildcard place.

The presence of Mboma and Masilingi could now cause the displeasure of other runners, who may feel unfairly disadvantaged. This backlash between the competitors certainly happened when South Africa’s Caster Semenya dominated the 800m event a few years ago.


Track and field has been trying to fix the problem for years, but it really became a hot topic with the emergence of Semenya in 2009. Semenya, then also an unknown teenager in her first big competition, won gold at the 800 that year. World’s Championships. At just 19 years old, Semenya appeared to be completely dominant in her race.

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