Sex verification in sports also known as gender verification , or loosely as gender determination or a sex test occurs because eligibility of athletes to compete is restricted in theory whenever sporting events are limited to a single sex , which is generally the case, as well as when events are limited to mixed-sex teams of defined composition e. Practice has varied tremendously over time, across borders and by competitive level. Issues have arisen multiple times in the Olympic games and other high-profile sporting competitions, for example allegations that certain male athletes attempted to compete as women or that certain female athletes had intersex conditions that gave unfair advantage. The first mandatory sex test issued by the International Association of Athletics Federations IAAF , the world's track and field governing body, for woman athletes was in July in the month before the European Championships in Belgium.
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O ne day in June , Dutee Chand was cooling down after a set of meter sprints when she received a call from the director of the Athletics Federation of India, asking her to meet him in Delhi. Earlier that month, Chand won gold in both the meter sprint and the 4-bymeter relay at the Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Taipei, Taiwan, so her hopes for Scotland were high. Chand was raised in Gopalpur, a rural village in eastern India with only intermittent electricity. The family home was a small mud hut, with no running water or toilet.
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The relationship between sex and athletic performance has been debated for centuries. The topic of sex and athletics begins over 1, years ago in Greece. The theory back then was that abstaining would build frustration, aggression and ultimately result in improved performance. It would seem the tables have turned: at the Rio Olympics, a whopping half a million condoms were handed out to the approximately 12, competitors. So, what does the science say? Men may have more of it, but testosterone affects both men and women. It impacts athletic performance and low levels are linked to low energy, decreased strength and increased body fat. It also affects sex drive. While short, high-intensity training boosts testosterone levels in both men and women, low-intensity endurance training decreases it, which not only affects performance but also the desire for sex. Plus, lower testosterone makes hitting those higher intensity sessions more difficult.
Pieper, Lindsay. Champaign - When it became clear that testing regimes failed to delineate a sex divide, the IOC began to test for gender --a shift that allowed the organization to control the very idea of womanhood. Lindsay Parks Pieper explores sex testing in sport from the s to the early s.