Indian sprinter Dutee Chand cleared to compete after Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling

The IAAF’s hyperandrogenism regulations are to be suspended for two years, following an interim ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

This follows an appeal made by Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, who had not been allowed to compete after a test showed that her body produced natural levels of testosterone which are above the levels stated in the IAAF’s regulations.

In a statement, the IAAF advised that the sport’s world governing body had received the CAS’s interim award in the Chand case, where the validity of the IAAF’s hyperandrogenism regulations had been challenged.

The IAAF explained the regulations had been adopted “following a lengthy and comprehensive consultation exercise by the IAAF’s expert working group in conjunction with the IOC (International Olympic Committee)”.

The statement read in part: “The regulations are based on the strong scientific consensus that the clear sex difference in sports performance is mainly due to the marked difference in male and female testosterone levels (normal female range of serum testosterone being approximately 0.1 – 2.8 nmol/L; normal male range, above 10.5 nmol/L). Due to abnormal adrenal or gonadal function, certain females have serum testosterone levels of 10 nmol/L or more. The regulations aim to preserve fair competition by requiring such athletes either to show that they are androgen-resistant (and so derive no advantage from their elevated levels of testosterone) or else to bring those levels down below 10 nmol/L.”

The view of the CAS panel is that further evidence is required as to the precise degree of performance advantage that hyperandrogenic female athletes would get over athletes with normal testosterone levels. Therefore CAS issued a directive that the regulations should be suspended for two years while that evidence is gathered.

The IAAF says the governing body will “meet as soon as possible with its experts and with the IOC and its experts to discuss how best to address this interim ruling by the CAS.”

The regulations had been introduced following the case of 2009 world 800m champion Caster Semenya who had been asked to take what was described in the media as a “gender test” ahead of the world final.