/ Laura Muir

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Yanis Nayu - on 07 Aug 2017
That girl's got some grit. Gutted for her missing out on a medal by a whisker.
Ridge - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Absolutely. I don't think getting boxed in helped either, but a really gutsy performance. Also impressed with Laura Weightman.
FactorXXX - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

No one going to mention the elephant in the room?
Fraser on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

> No one going to mention the elephant in the room?

That she looks a bit like Malcolm Smith?
Mike Highbury - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:
> No one going to mention the elephant in the room?

You can always rewatch Radcliffe and Cram discussion if you have a taste for that kind of thing.
FactorXXX - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Highbury:

You can always rewatch Radcliffe and Cram discussion if you have a taste for that kind of thing.

Is it worth watching? If so, I'll have a look for it on YouTube.
Yanis Nayu - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

Semenya?

I don't think she should be running with the women with her current levels of testosterone.
FactorXXX - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Semenya?
I don't think she should be running with the women with her current levels of testosterone.


Nor do I and hopefully that will soon be rectified.
Michael Hood - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

Unfortunately, there's no ideal solution. It's finding or deciding what is the least of the evils.
FactorXXX - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:

Unfortunately, there's no ideal solution. It's finding or deciding what is the least of the evils.

Stop her competing or control her testosterone levels.
Maybe not pleasant for Semenya on a personal level, but certainly the best for athletics.
Yanis Nayu - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:

I think it's a simple albeit disagreeable question of whether to upset one person or lots of people.
drolex - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Taking hormonal treatment might be a little bit more than upsetting. "Heavily f**king up someone's life" sounds more appropriate to me.

It might be a subtle and difficult issue maybe? Who knows.
FactorXXX - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to drolex:

Taking hormonal treatment might be a little bit more than upsetting. "Heavily f**king up someone's life" sounds more appropriate to me.

Why not stop her from competing?
krikoman - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Unfortunately, there's no ideal solution. It's finding or deciding what is the least of the evils.

> Stop her competing or control her testosterone levels.

> Maybe not pleasant for Semenya on a personal level, but certainly the best for athletics.

Yeah that sound a great solution, then you can start on the one's whose skin's a bit too black eh?

Maybe she could start he own "special" games.
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FactorXXX - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to krikoman:

Yeah that sound a great solution, then you can start on the one's whose skin's a bit too black eh?
Maybe she could start he own "special" games.


What?
drolex - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

Ah ok, I see the point now. The upsetting solution is to stop he from competing. But for what reason exactly? Not woman enough? Where do we put the limit? Was Bolt too tall and had an unfair genetic advantage?
PeterM - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

I take it she won by a mile then with such a massine advantage?..Oh wait she came third, and only narrowly beat Muir. Hardly a crushing victory. She should be allowed to compete.
The New NickB - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to PeterM:

> I take it she won by a mile then with such a massine advantage?..Oh wait she came third, and only narrowly beat Muir. Hardly a crushing victory. She should be allowed to compete.

It's not her main event, she will probably win the 800m by some distance and if it is anything like last years Olympics the women in silver and bronze will also have very high testosterone levels.

All top athletes have a huge physiological advantage over most people from birth, the question is when those advantages are such that that it is outside the spirit of competition. Clearly when athletes are divided by gender and the gender of the athlete is less binery than we are used to dealing with, this causes more problems. The IAAF don't strike me as particularly well set up to deal with these issues.
drunken monkey - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to PeterM:

She's primarily an 800m runner - that was a very good result for her. The slow second lap probably did it for Laura - it allowed Semenya to hang in there for a strong finish
FactorXXX - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to drolex:

But for what reason exactly? Not woman enough?

To be perfectly frank, yes.
Phil79 - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Why not stop her from competing?

On what possible grounds? She hasn't cheated.

As Paula Radcliffe pointed out, there aren't any easy answers to the issue. You cant punish her for being a woman with high testosterone levels. As also pointed out by Paula, all women undergo changes in hormone levels on a monthly basis, are you going to start deducting/adding seconds to races depending upon expected impact per athlete?
FactorXXX - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Phil79:

You cant punish her for being a woman with high testosterone levels.

I agree.
However, you need to look at why she's got those elevated levels i.e. the presence of a Y chromosome and internal testes.
The New NickB - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Phil79:

You are right about one thing, their are not any easy answers.

I think most people now rightly acknowledge that gender is sometimes a bit more complex than just male and female, where a sport is split in to male and female categories, this can obviously cause problems. In Semenya's case, there is a suggestion, based on leaked information from the IAAF testing that she has intersex traits and we know that she has very high testosterone levels.

There is no suggestion that she has done anything wrong, the question is simply should she be competing with other women.
Chris the Tall - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Phil79:

Yep, no easy answer

Is it right that they should be forced to take drugs in order to compete ?

Unfortunately she (and others with hyperandrogenism) don't fit neatly into the binary classification used in sport. Just because she identifies as a women, doesn't mean that biologically she is the same as the vast majority of her competitors. Her testosterone levels are much higher, and we all know how useful testosterone is to an athlete.

The problem is that having a separate category for women in sport means that we do need a binary system, some demarcation point for those with intersex conditions. If we allow just anyone to run as a women then we undermine the whole point of women's sport. So unfortunately it may be necessary to pick a demarcation line that is unfair to a few, in order for it to be fair to the majority.
mbh - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

At first sight it does seem unfair, given that athletes are not banned for being much taller than everyone else, in sports where that helps, or for having an extreme value for any other useful physiological characteristic. At the WC level, they pretty much all are outliers in all sorts of respects to start with.

But your point is the key one - a binary distinction has been made in athletics, as in many other sports, between genders, and so a decision needs to be made about who is on which side of the divide, and more crucially, about the criteria by which that decision is made.
Irk the Purist - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> So unfortunately it may be necessary to pick a demarcation line that is unfair to a few, in order for it to be fair to the majority

Utilitarian attitudes like this always discriminate against minorities. Taken to their extreme, they result in authoritarian regimes run for the benefit of the majority who are considered 'normal'.

Pure application of utilitarianism does not sit well with other, equally important considerations for our society such as inclusivity and equality.

It's easy to say 'for the greater good' when you're not the one being forced to take hormone supplements to make you more like society expects you to be.

Equally, sport relies on a level playing field in order to retain our interest. People quickly switch off from sport where one team always wins easily.

So I don't know the answer, but I suspect it may come from a more enlightened attitude to gender in the coming decades or longer. Perhaps in time for the next London Olympics.




Yanis Nayu - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Yep, no easy answer

> Is it right that they should be forced to take drugs in order to compete ?

> Unfortunately she (and others with hyperandrogenism) don't fit neatly into the binary classification used in sport. Just because she identifies as a women, doesn't mean that biologically she is the same as the vast majority of her competitors. Her testosterone levels are much higher, and we all know how useful testosterone is to an athlete.

> The problem is that having a separate category for women in sport means that we do need a binary system, some demarcation point for those with intersex conditions. If we allow just anyone to run as a women then we undermine the whole point of women's sport. So unfortunately it may be necessary to pick a demarcation line that is unfair to a few, in order for it to be fair to the majority.

Exactly.
Yanis Nayu - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Irk the Purist:

That's all well and good but you're a bit light on how that can practically work. As far as I can see it, you either have men's and women's categories and accept the demarcation line, men's, women's and intersex (for which I guess there would be few competitors) or have no categories at all and effectively end women's sport. The first option seems the best to me.
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Chris the Tall - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Irk the Purist:

I hate pigeon holing people, and quite happy to dispense with binary classifications wherever possible. But sport is an exception. If we didn't categorise people and treated everyone equally, then you'd kill off women's sport at a stroke. Even if you added a extra category of intersex then you would still need demarcation lines. And I don't think an intersex category would help advance the issues of equal pay and equal media coverage for women in sport. So sorry if that utilitarian or bigoted, as you imply, but I think those issues are more important.

Unless you think the only worthwhile sport is Korfball....
Timmd on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
> That's all well and good but you're a bit light on how that can practically work. As far as I can see it, you either have men's and women's categories and accept the demarcation line, men's, women's and intersex (for which I guess there would be few competitors) or have no categories at all and effectively end women's sport. The first option seems the best to me.

I'm wondering how intersex competitors would get to gain experience in competing from teenage-hood, given the minority they represent? With how binary society currently is, at whatever age or stage of development intersex people begin to be separated from everybody else, that begins their journey & search, where they have to find people like themselves to compete with. It could hugely reduce the chances of them fulfilling their sporting potential, and their life calling one might say.
Post edited at 19:53
MG - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Sir Chasm:

We could have a handicap system with weights, like horses.
Sir Chasm - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

Fattist!!!
Irk the Purist - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Very light I'd say. In fact, I said I didn't have the answer.
Irk the Purist - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I didn't intend to suggest you were bigoted. I was trying to present the dilemma we face in trying to accommodate everyone in sport, without forcing them to comply with 'normal'
Yanis Nayu - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> I'm wondering how intersex competitors would get to gain experience in competing from teenage-hood, given the minority they represent? With how binary society currently is, at whatever age or stage of development intersex people begin to be separated from everybody else, that begins their journey & search, where they have to find people like themselves to compete with. It could hugely reduce the chances of them fulfilling their sporting potential, and their life calling one might say.

I don't think it's a good idea to have a third category.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

> You are right about one thing, their are not any easy answers.

> I think most people now rightly acknowledge that gender is sometimes a bit more complex than just male and female, where a sport is split in to male and female categories, this can obviously cause problems. In Semenya's case, there is a suggestion, based on leaked information from the IAAF testing that she has intersex traits and we know that she has very high testosterone levels.

> There is no suggestion that she has done anything wrong, the question is simply should she be competing with other women.

Quite right and I think she should be.
Siward on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Wow, you can't say she's not a trier, having just seen her in the 5000m heat. Marvellous effort.
Sean Kelly - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

So if second is nowhere, where is fourth?
Yanis Nayu - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> So if second is nowhere, where is fourth?

Err, fourth?

I'm not really doom laden about all the fourths we've had. They're all young talents exceeding expectation, bright futures ahead.

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