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The legacy of Caster Semenya: examining the normative basis for the construction of categories in sport
  1. Silvia Camporesi
  1. Global Health and Social Medicine, King's College London, London WC2B 4BG, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Silvia Camporesi, Global Health and Social Medicine, King's College London, London WC2B 4BG, UK; silvia.camporesi{at}kcl.ac.uk

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Caster Semenya is done with track and field. At 29, her hopes for a continued career as a professional middle-distance runner are dashed. After her case against International Association for Athletics Federation (IAAF)1 was dismissed by the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS) on 1 May 2019, she has switched to football later in the year.1

Semenya’s case may have come to its legal conclusion, however it has generated an aporia regarding the binary classification in athletics, which has yet to be solved.2 It is time the implications of the fair equality of opportunity (FEO) principle as a normative basis for the construction of categories in sport are taken seriously to move forward the debate on unfair advantages in sport.

Loland conditionally justifies restricting the women’s category to athletes with testosterone levels below a certain threshold, on the basis of the FEO principle, and of a distinction between stable (eg, biological sex, age, body size) and dynamic inequalities between athletes (eg, genetic predispositions). …

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @silviacamporesi

  • Contributors SC is the sole author of this article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Now renamed World Athletics (since November 2019). For the purposes of this paper I will refer to IAAF.

  • The decision was reached with a two out of three majority in April 2019.

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