'Colossal advantage': Olympic champ Isinbayeva says testosterone rules should have 'no exceptions'
Legendary Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva has commented on the much-publicized testosterone case involving South African runner Caster Semenya, stating that all competitors should follow the same rules.
The two-time Olympic champion stressed that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) which introduced a new testosterone rule pursues a goal to provide equal opportunities for all athletes and ensure equal competition.
“The IAAF decided to implement a new rule establishing a strict testosterone limit for female athletes. Those with elevated testosterone will be prohibited from taking part in international events. The rules should be applied to everyone, there should be no exceptions,” Isinbayeva told RT.
“I think that all athletes should have equal conditions to train and compete. And what is more important, everyone should obey the rules outlined by WADA and IAAF. There should be no exceptions or concessions, otherwise we cannot talk about fair competition,” she added.
The multiple world record holder stressed that the newly-implemented rule should be obligatory for all athletes, including those with biological irregularities, which is the case with the Semenya.
“Girls with lower testosterone level have minimal chances to win. That’s why rules implemented by the IAAF should be applied to everyone, including athletes with biological specifics. There should be no complaints, if such athletes want to compete against women they should be obliged to reduce testosterone level. No one infringes on their rights to take part in athletics events, but they should understand they have a colossal advantage,” Isinbayeva said.Also on rt.com Caster Semenya is not a threat to women’s sport, say runner’s lawyers
Talking about the controversial subject of transgender women in sport, Isinbayeva noted that such athletes should be allowed to compete if they underwent all necessary transitioning procedures, including hormonal treatment.
“Of course there should be some tests for transgender women which proves that their hormone levels, including testosterone, do not exceed the approved limit. But if a person simply identifies himself as a woman without undergoing hormone therapy, he definitely should not be allowed to compete alongside female athletes,” Isinbayeva said.