In 2009, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) forced Caster Semenya, the women's 800-meter champion from South Africa, to submit to “gender verification tests.” It took eleven months for officials to review the results of those tests and, ultimately, permit her compete again. Sports organizations, including the IAAF and the International Olympic Committee, have implemented sex testing since the 1960s, but Semenya's story reinvigorated debates about how to determine sex and whether sex testing is necessary in sport. However, I argue that there is another issue at which researchers should direct energies. That is, instead of asking whether an athlete “counts as” a woman, kinesiologists and those in affiliated fields might better concentrate their efforts on discerning which conditions, naturally occurring or otherwise, constitute unfair advantages.
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