The decision was a defeat for Caster Semenya, a two-time Olympic champion at meters from South Africa, who had challenged proposed limits placed on female athletes with naturally elevated levels of the muscle-building hormone testosterone. In South Africa, leaders complained of racism. The issue of whether a rare biological trait was causing an unfair advantage for Semenya and a small subset of women quickly morphed into a battle about privacy and human rights, and Semenya became its symbol. She has said little publicly about her specific biology other than stating that God made her the way she is. The I.
Trans athletes make great gains, yet resentment still flares
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And, for some, this is the final stroke of the Doomsday Clock, the opening of the floodgates. Nothing will ever be the same again. Nothing means anything any more. And all is lost. At least, if you ask certain people.
Transgender women in sport: Are they really a 'threat' to female sport?
The year-old Canadian's victory was controversial in some quarters because she is a transgender woman competing in female sport, albeit in the year-old category. Jen Wagner-Assali, who finished third, called it "unfair" and wants cycling's international governing body to change its rules. Others have said further examples may "threaten" the participation of women in sport - a view described as "sensationalist" by transgender racing driver Charlie Martin, and as "transphobic" by McKinnon. It is a sensitive topic, which poses some difficult questions about how gender is seen in sport, and some "dangerous" ones - according to transgender handball player Hannah Mouncey - about the fundamental right of athletes to participate in sport.
In the track-and-field community in Connecticut, the dominance of two transgender athletes has stirred resentment among some competitors and their families. Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller are sprinters for their respective high schools, and they also happen to be transgender. Many critics claim their gender identity gives them an unfair advantage, a familiar argument in a complex debate for transgender athletes around the world. Yearwood, a year-old junior at Cromwell High School, is one of two transgender high school sprinters in Connecticut, transitioning to female. She recently finished second in the meter dash at the state open indoor track championships.