Doctors' association reaffirms opposition to new rules for female athletes


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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The World Medical Association has reaffirmed its opposition to new rules from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regarding classifying female athletes. 

The IAAF rules, which came into effect earlier this month, mean that female athletes with differences of sex development must reduce their testosterone levels to below 5 nmol/L to compete in certain events. The introduction of the rules had been challenged, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the regulations. It is understood that this decision is to be appealed. 

In a letter to the IAAF, the WMA said it stands firm against “any practice requiring physicians to use their competence and skills for any other purpose than providing medical care in the best interest of their patients and in respect of their dignity". 

The WMA said its opposition to the regulations is based solely on strict ethical considerations and that a medical treatment is only justified when there is a medical need. “The mere existence of an intersex condition, without the person indicating suffering and expressing the desire for an adequate treatment, does not constitute a medical indication,” it said. “The days when doctors or society would determine which gender a person should have are definitely over.”

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