Caster Semenya

morstar
morstar Posts: 6,190
edited February 2019 in The cake stop
Thoughts on the rules to take drugs to suppress her high testosterone levels?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/47283833

Her genetic make up is clearly an advantage but does that make it unfair? I can see how it is frustrating for her competitors but physiology is what it is. Heavyweights don't win marathons and lightweights don't thrive in contact sports.

If she is classified as female ( I know there has been some debate) then she is what she is and can compete as is imho. The idea of doping to level the playing field seems somewhat ironic.
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Comments

  • robert88
    robert88 Posts: 2,696
    Abandon qualification by gender. Make it dependent on hormone levels.
  • ballysmate
    ballysmate Posts: 15,922
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/47283833

    I assume Semenya is the bloke in the middle.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 28,542
    morstar wrote:
    The idea of doping to level the playing field seems somewhat ironic.

    This. Like any athlete, her abilities are a mixture of genes and training. Starting to try to crudely 'standardise' genetic factors seems to miss half of what sport is about. I'm also pretty sure that if Semenya's higher testosterone levels didn't also have some visible manifestations, we wouldn't even be having the debate. This is just 'she looks like a bloke' dressed up as concern for fair play and level playing fields.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
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    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • Ben6899
    Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    Ballysmate wrote:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/47283833

    I assume Semenya is the bloke in the middle.

    I'm glad that BBC article doesn't have comments enabled...
    Ben

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  • crispybug2
    crispybug2 Posts: 2,915
    It’s just that some people have a genetic advantage, Miguel Indurain having a larger heart and slower pulse rate for example, they still have to train and have the necessary drive to take advantage of these gifts *



    * and yes I understand the doping claims that will be made, but the point still stands true!
  • It is tough and probably means that world records are unlikely to be broken again for several generations.

    That said, she will eventually retire and there will be opportunity for ladies to compete for these events again, just maybe not WRs.

    I think she said herself she would rather be a 'normal' woman than a WR athlete.

    The problem with the testosterone 'levels' is getting it right to stop transgender former men from dominating womens sport. In that respect I am in favor of fairness over equality (i.e let the women have a crack at men's sport, but not the other way around, not that there is a way to legislate for it).
  • morstar
    morstar Posts: 6,190
    It is tough and probably means that world records are unlikely to be broken again for several generations.

    That said, she will eventually retire and there will be opportunity for ladies to compete for these events again, just maybe not WRs.

    I think she said herself she would rather be a 'normal' woman than a WR athlete.

    The problem with the testosterone 'levels' is getting it right to stop transgender former men from dominating womens sport. In that respect I am in favor of fairness over equality (i.e let the women have a crack at men's sport, but not the other way around, not that there is a way to legislate for it).
    The transgender issue is a huge can of worms. There is a challenge due to the issues around physique and muscle memory providing a potentially significant advantage. Arguably you should continue to compete in mens or mixed sports.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    crispybug2 wrote:
    It’s just that some people have a genetic advantage, Miguel Indurain having a larger heart and slower pulse rate for example, they still have to train and have the necessary drive to take advantage of these gifts *

    Look at how your Strava segments compare with female riders. I once had a PB on a long climb that was faster than Joanna Rowsells. A large number of my fastest times would be KOMs, often by quite a margin, if I was female. Obviously Strava never really means anything in depth but the point is that an averagely better than average bloke (me) can, without training hard, be quicker than a lot of far more talented harder working female riders.

    The question is how much is down to the genetics and how much the drive and training. I bet Caster has to work a lot less hard to win than the others have to be second.

    Robert88s comment is obviously a solution here.......
    Faster than a tent.......
  • FocusZing
    FocusZing Posts: 4,373
    Who really cares how pro sport is won these days? The majority of results have to be taken with a pinch of salt. It would be much better if it's not about who wins, but part style marks in which they do it. Say a fifty fifty split between winning and style.
  • Your judgement is clouded by a desire for attacking riding and panache

    In a sprint you just sprint.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 28,542
    Rolf F wrote:
    crispybug2 wrote:
    It’s just that some people have a genetic advantage, Miguel Indurain having a larger heart and slower pulse rate for example, they still have to train and have the necessary drive to take advantage of these gifts *

    Look at how your Strava segments compare with female riders. I once had a PB on a long climb that was faster than Joanna Rowsells. A large number of my fastest times would be KOMs, often by quite a margin, if I was female. Obviously Strava never really means anything in depth but the point is that an averagely better than average bloke (me) can, without training hard, be quicker than a lot of far more talented harder working female riders.

    The question is how much is down to the genetics and how much the drive and training. I bet Caster has to work a lot less hard to win than the others have to be second.

    Robert88s comment is obviously a solution here.......

    Based on a couple of Strava observations? It's nigh impossible to separate out nature/nurture.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,388
    FocusZing wrote:
    Who really cares how pro sport is won these days? The majority of results have to be taken with a pinch of salt. It would be much better if it's not about who wins, but part style marks in which they do it. Say a fifty fifty split between winning and style.

    I recommend you start following ski jumping, ice skating, gymnastics, diving, synchronised swimming and dressage then.
  • FocusZing
    FocusZing Posts: 4,373
    Pross wrote:
    FocusZing wrote:
    Who really cares how pro sport is won these days? The majority of results have to be taken with a pinch of salt. It would be much better if it's not about who wins, but part style marks in which they do it. Say a fifty fifty split between winning and style.

    I recommend you start following ski jumping, ice skating, gymnastics, diving, synchronised swimming and dressage then.

    8.5!
  • FocusZing
    FocusZing Posts: 4,373
    Your judgement is clouded by a desire for attacking riding and panache

    In a sprint you just sprint.

    8.7.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    rjsterry wrote:
    Rolf F wrote:
    crispybug2 wrote:
    It’s just that some people have a genetic advantage, Miguel Indurain having a larger heart and slower pulse rate for example, they still have to train and have the necessary drive to take advantage of these gifts *

    Look at how your Strava segments compare with female riders. I once had a PB on a long climb that was faster than Joanna Rowsells. A large number of my fastest times would be KOMs, often by quite a margin, if I was female. Obviously Strava never really means anything in depth but the point is that an averagely better than average bloke (me) can, without training hard, be quicker than a lot of far more talented harder working female riders.

    The question is how much is down to the genetics and how much the drive and training. I bet Caster has to work a lot less hard to win than the others have to be second.

    Robert88s comment is obviously a solution here.......

    Based on a couple of Strava observations? It's nigh impossible to separate out nature/nurture.

    Well no, not a couple. That's why I said "a large number". FWIW, probably most of the best times that I actually made at least something of an effort at are close to or quicker than the female KOM but often more like in the top 1% to 10% male KOM time.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    I could have been a world class sprinter but for my shorter than average legs, can I start again with all other competitors hobbled to my stride length to offset their 'unfair' advantage?

    All top athletes have some form of genetic advantage, otherwise they would be joint top with the other competitor who tries/trains just as hard, be that lengths, heights, leverage ratios, heart size etc.etc. Time for the others to suck it up.
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  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    The Rookie wrote:
    I could have been a world class sprinter but for my shorter than average legs, can I start again with all other competitors hobbled to my stride length to offset their 'unfair' advantage?

    All top athletes have some form of genetic advantage, otherwise they would be joint top with the other competitor who tries/trains just as hard, be that lengths, heights, leverage ratios, heart size etc.etc. Time for the others to suck it up.

    So why distinguish between male and female then?
    Faster than a tent.......
  • crispybug2
    crispybug2 Posts: 2,915
    Rolf F wrote:

    So why distinguish between male and female then?


    Just study the difference in the mens and women’s world record in any athletics event and I think you will find your answer!
  • Sport is Darwinism... the fittest will win, the one with the more suited genetic makeover will always win.

    The idea that by working harder than the opposition you can win gold is flawed. If Semenya has more testosterone, then she will be better at running... in the same way as another female athelte could trump Semenya by having a larger heart or something.

    Suck it up and be happy with silver or change discipline
    left the forum March 2023
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,898
    Female sport is there because of the biological differences between men and women. People who are either entirely biologically male or inter sex - which I believe Semenya is - competing in female sport undermine the whole basis for it existing.

    I'm all for people being able to live as whatever gender they choose including making up new ones, having relationships with whoever they find attractive etc etc but when it comes to sport "female only" is really shorthand for "this set of biological traits" and if you don't meet those conditions for me they should be competing in an "open" category otherwise known as "male sport".
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • I think Caster Semenya is a female.
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,898
    I think Caster Semenya is a female.

    It's clear that there are different senses in which the word female can be used. I'n the biological sense at least - which is the one most relevant to sport - she almost certainly isn't entirely female.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 28,542
    I think Caster Semenya is a female.

    It's clear that there are different senses in which the word female can be used. I'n the biological sense at least - which is the one most relevant to sport - she almost certainly isn't entirely female.

    Based on what? And against what criteria.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • rjsterry wrote:
    I think Caster Semenya is a female.

    It's clear that there are different senses in which the word female can be used. I'n the biological sense at least - which is the one most relevant to sport - she almost certainly isn't entirely female.

    Based on what? And against what criteria.

    I am happy to be corrected but I think she is female in the sporting sense.
  • chris_bass
    chris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Whether she is female or not isn't up for debate as far as i'm aware.

    Gender isn't defined by hormone levels, so if they are a certain gender at birth then they should compete against each other, transgender should have a separate classifications as they are "different".

    They are suggesting she should take drugs to lower her testosterone levels, this is just madness! What if you are just below the limit - could you take drugs to get to this arbitrary level?!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • laurentian
    laurentian Posts: 2,476
    Chris Bass wrote:
    What if you are just below the limit - could you take drugs to get to this arbitrary level?!

    . . . which is just one of the can of worms that this opens.

    Got to say, I feel really sorry for her. She has a genetic/biological make up that makes her really, really good at something. She's not cheating, she's not failing dope tests and she's clearly uncomfortable with the attention on this.

    Logically, there must have been something that made Usain Bolt so much better than all other sprinters of his era and one day someone will break his records but it would be ridiculous to propose that he wore ankle weights or that those he competed against had a 10m head start - this is into the realms of handicapping as we see in horse racing.

    I would have far far more respect for the IAAF if they stuck to their decision of a few years ago (ie that she was female) and told the rest to like it or lump it. The sporting authorities spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money into stopping participants from putting substances into their bodies to change their performance - the fact that the proposals change the performance "the other way" doesn't negate that fact.
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • crispybug2
    crispybug2 Posts: 2,915
    I’ve got the answer!!

    An anagram of Caster Semenya is...

    Yes, a secret man!!!


    You see, the answers are there if you just look
  • photonic69
    photonic69 Posts: 2,622
    Maybe categorize them by beard length at a 5am wakeup call? Smooth/Bum-fluff/bit of stubble/full scouring pad of stubble etc.


    Sometimes. Maybe. Possibly.

  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,898
    Chris Bass wrote:
    Whether she is female or not isn't up for debate as far as i'm aware.

    Gender isn't defined by hormone levels, so if they are a certain gender at birth then they should compete against each other, transgender should have a separate classifications as they are "different".

    They are suggesting she should take drugs to lower her testosterone levels, this is just madness! What if you are just below the limit - could you take drugs to get to this arbitrary level?!


    For you how is female defined? We have many who would argue that male or female is a choice. Clearly you don't agree with that because you talk about a gender at birth. The question then is what or maybe who determines if a baby is male or female?

    Assuming you don't think it's the midwife but rather some biological characteristic why can't hormones or the potential to develop levels of hormones in the future be part of that determining factor?
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • Chris Bass wrote:
    Whether she is female or not isn't up for debate as far as i'm aware.

    Gender isn't defined by hormone levels, so if they are a certain gender at birth then they should compete against each other, transgender should have a separate classifications as they are "different".

    They are suggesting she should take drugs to lower her testosterone levels, this is just madness! What if you are just below the limit - could you take drugs to get to this arbitrary level?!

    ^ this