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IOC for fresh gender rules

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee has decided to set up clear rules to determine the eligibility of female athletes with hyperandrogenism, starting with the Olympic Games in London next year.

The Board, meeting in London, also agreed to recommend that the international federations also adopt similar rules to meet the specificities of the sport concerned.

An IOC release stated on Tuesday that a female athlete recognised in law should be eligible to compete in female competitions provided she has androgen (male hormone) levels below the male range, or if within the male range, she has an androgen resistance that prevents her from deriving any competitive advantage.

An evaluation should be made on an anonymous basis by a panel of independent international experts in hyperandrogenism that would, in each case, issue a recommendation on eligibility.

Should an athlete be considered ineligible to compete, she would be notified of the reasons and of the conditions she would be required to meet should she wish to become eligible again.

If an athlete fails or refuses to comply with any aspect of eligibility determination process, which is her right as an individual, she would not be eligible to participate in the chosen sport.

The investigations would be conducted under strict confidentiality.

A conference organised by the IOC last October had concluded that rules were needed and emphasised that these rules should respect the essence of the male/female classification and also guarantee the fairness and integrity of female competitions for all female athletes.

Meanwhile, the IOC has disqualified the results of Duane Ross, an American high hurdler, at the Athens Olympic Games following a report from the US Anti-Doping Agency.

The USADA reported that Ross, who finished fifth in his semifinal heat of the 110m hurdles in Athens in 2004, had used banned drugs prior to 2001 as well as in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

The USADA had imposed a sanction and disqualified his results from November 2001.

The IOC set up a committee in October last year and based on its recommendation that the athlete had not contested his disqualification by the USADA of results since November, 2001, decided to disqualify his Olympics results also.

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