BILLINGSGATE POST: The IAAF, the governing body that determines eligibility for international amateur sports, has decreed that future Olympics must offer an open division to include all comers. In order to adjust for “intersex” female athletes who produce muscle-building testosterone, this governing body went to even greater lengths to insure fairness. In anticipation of future contestants who might claim anthropomorphic bias, they directed that the open division would provide status for “any and all” species, including, but not limited to Homo sapiens.
The panel conceded that, in order to solve “a complex collision of scientific and quasi-ethical questions that involved incompatible competing rights, it was impossible to give effect to one set of rights without restricting the other set of rights.”
Accepting that a binary division of athletes into male and female events is no longer possible, they ruled that only an “open division” without restrictions could satisfactorily address current and future competitive equivalents.
Their decision by a 2-1 margin was released Wednesday morning, and it was sprinkled with nuance and compromise. Yes, differences in the shape and size of the reproductive organs of all species should be celebrated instead of restricted, regardless of the respective abilities of the individuals using them.
And yes, there are future concerns about opening a Pandora’s box with other events and sports in the Olympic movement. For instance: Would there be a competition measuring how long it took for a dog to pass a slice of New York-style pepperoni pizza through its alimentary canal, a record currently held by Little Wilmer, a dachshund measuring 26 inches from his nose to his asshole? An ethical question: How would larger dogs compete based on the current formula of Time = Velocity divided by Distance squared?
So the rules proposed last year by the IAAF, track and field’s world governing body, have been superseded. Female athletes with DSD (Differences of Sex Development) no longer will have to suppress natural testosterone levels below 5 nanomoles per liter for six months before competing in international track meets. They will now be able to compete in the newly established open division without being tested for testosterone.
No one questions that. What is disputed is how much testosterone — which builds muscle and has some aerobic benefits — accounts for the difference in performance between male and female athletes.
This has all been made moot. With the establishment of the non-binary “open division,” any individual, regardless of sex, hormone level or specie, may compete without testing.
NOTE: The three member IAAF board included the Duke of Sandwich, Quasimodo and the Mayor of Cairo, respectively.