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The bioethicist dilemma in female athletics

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  • The bioethicist dilemma in female athletics

    Sunday, September 19, 2021
    Lisa Hanna
    “Go, Jamaica, go!” I screamed like an emergency siren as I watched the women's 200-metre final.

    “But, wait, who's the girl with the shocking acceleration closing in!” I said in disbelief.

    “That's Christine Mboma, she used to run the 800 metres, but she just started to run the 200 metres in July this year” said my husband, Richard.

    “What! And doing so well? How's that possible?” I asked him.

    He had no response.

    Since then, throughout our history, international competitive sport, with all its rivalry, has been a unifying rallying force for people in times of despair. The 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo were perhaps the most prolific example of how sport brought people together, even in the face of great uncertainty and adversity. For 16 days we all forgot about the novel coronavirus pandemic for a moment and cheered on our elite athletes.

    But, as we all enjoyed the Games, we were also watching history in the making up with a new phenomenon unravelling before our eyes. This was Namibian Christine Mboma running the 200-m women's final for the first time. She was competing in this race by 'force', you could argue, based on the new rules enacted by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) in November 2018. These rules banned women who naturally produced higher-than-normal levels of testosterone from participating in races ranging from 400m, 400m hurdles, the 800m, and the 1,500m (NPR, 2018).

    Hey .. look at the bright side .... at least you're not a Liverpool fan! - Lazie 2/24/10 Paul Marin -19 is one thing, 20 is a whole other matter. It gets even worse if they win the UCL. *groan*. 05/18/2011.MU fans naah cough, but all a unuh a vomit?-Lazie 1/11/2015