Female Eligibility Regulations in Athletics; Rational Necessity or Irrational Reaction?

Cooper, Jonathan ORCID: 0000-0003-1121-1308 (2020) Female Eligibility Regulations in Athletics; Rational Necessity or Irrational Reaction? Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/Z57WL8L8

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COOPER Jonathan (2020) Female Eligibility Regulations in Athletics-Rational Necessity or Irrational Reaction_MSc by Research thesis.pdf - Accepted Version
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Over recent years the International Association of Athletics Federations (the ‘IAAF’ - now World Athletics) has been seeking a solution to address a difficult problem; how to deal with the possibility that legally female athletes with differences in sexual development might benefit from a performance advantage due to increased levels of endogenous testosterone and consequent physiological and athletic advantages that are typically associated with men. Its current solution is to try and ‘compensate’ for such perceived advantages by excluding some legally female athletes from some events unless they are prepared to take medication to suppress natural testosterone levels below a certain, pre-determined figure. The relevant regulations (the Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification 2018 – or the ‘DSD Regulations’) have been approved by international sport’s highest judicial body, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, yet both the IAAF’s general approach to the problem and the Regulations themselves remain controversial and subject to significant criticism. In particular, there has been criticism of the value of the scientific research that underpins the Regulations (Franklin et al., 2018; Karkazis et al., 2017, 2012; Koh et al., 2018; Pielke et al., 2019; Sonkson, 2015; Tucker, 2017), from those in the ethical and human rights fields seeking to ensure that the rights of individual athletes are protected (Adair, 2011; Buzuvis, 2016, 2010; Koh et al., 2018; Krech, 2019, 2017) and in relation to the normative justification on which they are based (Camporesi, 2019, 2020). This thesis recognizes the controversy and the criticisms and attempts to evaluate the legal and ethical legitimacy of the Regulations and the IAAF’s approach by adopting a rationalist perspective. It thereby seeks to evaluate the validity and strength of the IAAF’s given reasons for introducing the DSD Regulations against fundamental requirements of rationality and the IAAF’s formal constitutional purposes. In doing so the thesis also considers the wider value of legal approval by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and, in this regard, questions the intensity of the legal review that the court undertook.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: MSc by Research
Uncontrolled Keywords: Athletes; Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification; Legal aspects; Ethical aspects
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
K Law > K Law (General) > K520 Comparative law > K3601 Medical law
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 17 May 2023 13:24
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2023 14:03
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/12755

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