South African Says Intersex Athlete Must Lower Her Testosterone

Caster Semenya. Photo credit: Citizen59, via Flickr

A court ruling said Caster Semenya, an intersex Olympian runner, must lower her testosterone levels if she wants to compete against other female athletes.

The court said that Semenya and other female athletes have to take medication to lower unusually high levels of testosterone in order for the competition to be fair, according to NBC News. But rights groups are saying this is a violation of human rights.

"Forcing athletes to undergo medically unnecessary interventions in order to participate in the sport they dedicate their lives to is cruel and a violation of their human rights," said transgender rights organization Athlete Ally’s executive director, Hudson Taylor.

Some say the ruling is flawed, and that Semenya’s testosterone level is comparable to Michael Phelps’ wingspan — both give the athletes a competitive advantage, but they aren’t the only features giving them strength.