Transgender athletes cannot compete – level 3

15-05-2023 07:00

Halba Diouf dreamed of running under France’s banner in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

But as a transgender woman, her hopes were dashed in March when the World Athletics Council banned athletes like her from competing in women’s events.

21-year-old Diouf has been training hard to improve her timings in the 200-meter race. The council agreed to exclude male-to-female transgender athletes to protect the female category, a frequently used justification for the outright exclusion of trans women from athletic competitions.

Up until Worlds Athletics’ latest move, transgender female athletes could take part in top competitions as long as their levels of natural testosterone were below a certain threshold, 5 nanomoles per liter of blood. This standard was set in 2018 and female transgender athletes were recommended oral contraceptives to bring certain female athletes under the threshold; however, the regulations were widely criticized by the World Medical Association on ethical grounds.

In March 2023, regulation for natural testosterone often perceived as the sole determinant of athletic performance was halved to 2.5 nanomoles per liter of blood and must be maintained for two years.

Difficult words: dash (to hit or damage), outright (complete or immediate), threshold (the level or point at which you start to experience something).

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How will the new regulation for natural testosterone affect Diouf's future as an athlete?


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