We’re familiar with drug testing for athletes, but officials at the Beijing Olympics will be taking things one stage further and examining competitors whose sex is in doubt. And it is far from being a new problem, as Emine Saner discovers.
For more than a year, officials in Beijing have been designing a special laboratory to determine the sex of any athletes taking part in this year’s Olympic games. “Suspected athletes will be evaluated from their external appearances by experts and undergo blood tests to examine their sex hormones, genes and chromosomes for sex determination,” says Professor Tian Qinjie. The tests will not be conducted on every female athlete, but will be required if serious doubts have been raised about an individual competitor – invariably one competing in the women’s events. “The aim is to protect fairness at the games while also protecting the rights of people with abnormal sexual development,” he says.
Published – July 2008
Guardian UK – Full Article