Radcliffe backs IAAF as Semenya ruling nears


The IAAF is seeking to force so-called 'hyperandrogenic' athletes or those with DSD to seek treatment to lower their levels of testosterone if they want to continue to compete as women.

FILE: Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya. Picture: AFP.

PARIS – World Marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe said she has "supported" the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in their controversial attempt to limit female athletes' testosterone levels.

"It's a very, very difficult and complex situation and I do not feel there is an outcome that is perfectly fair to everybody," the current-retired British runner told AFP in Paris Friday.

The IAAF is seeking to force so-called "hyperandrogenic" athletes or those with "differences of sexual development" (DSD) to seek treatment to lower their testosterone levels below a prescribed amount if they want to continue competing as women.

"These guys have not chosen," Radcliffe said.

"It's just the way they're born, and the way they grew up. At the same time, the results are clear to see, and we have the data evidence that it is not a fair situation.

"Maybe in the future, there will be more than two categories."

The Court of Arbitration for Sport is wrestling with an appeal against the rule by Caster Semenya, the South African Olympic 800-meter champion.

"Female sport has its definition and its category for a reason. Because women could not compete with men, "45-year-old Radcliffe said, adding she believed the IAAF" are trying to protect the female sport and create fair competition. But I see it's a very, very difficult decision for CAS to be able to take. "

"I think other sports are watching to see what happens because it also affects them," Radcliffe said.

Sports minister Tokozile Xasa has accused the IAAF of pursuing "the violation of women's bodies."

WATCH: IAAF is sexist towards Caster Semenya

Radcliffe was sympathetic but argued that the alternative was also unfair.

"It's not possible to be fair to everyone," she said.

"I do not think the IAAF are saying you have to modify your body. You must bring your testosterone down if you want to compete in the female category. In other words, you are free to compete at a non-elite level or in a male category. "


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