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Man Demands Fast Athlete Gets Test To ‘Find Out If She Definitely Is A Woman’

by : Hannah Smith on : 08 Aug 2021 14:03
Man Demands Fast Athlete Gets Test To 'Find Out If She Definitely Is A Woman'PA Images

A former sprinter has demanded that an 18-year old Olympian be tested to prove if she ‘definitely is a woman,’ after saying he doesn’t believe she should be able to run her times.

Marcin Urbas, who holds the Polish men’s 200m national record, launched an attack on Namibian sprinter Christine Mboma after the young athlete took the silver medal in the women’s 200m sprint at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, saying she should be made to prove she is biologically female.

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Mboma lost out to Jamaican defending champion Elaine Thompson-Herah in the race, coming home with a time of 21.97 seconds. That time was enough to convince Urbas that something was amiss, with the retired Polish sprinter unable to accept that Mboma had run a quicker personal best than he had when he was the same age.

Christine Mboma (PA Images)PA Images

‘She has the parameters of an 18-year-old boy. At that age, my PB was 22.01, and she has done it in 21.97 in Tokyo’ Urbas said, according to Insider.

While the obvious conclusion to draw from the difference in times is that Mboma is simply a better runner than Urbas, that thought doesn’t appear to have occurred to him, as he asked of World Athletics ‘I would like to request a thorough test on Mboma to find out if she definitely is a woman.’

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Mboma is one of a number of athletes competing at the Olympics to have been diagnosed with ‘difference in sexual development’ – a condition which, among other things, can cause women to have higher levels of testosterone than average.

‘The testosterone advantage of Mboma over other participants is seen with the naked eye. In construction, movement, technique, at the same time as speed and endurance,’ Urbas told Marca.com

Women's 200m medallists (PA Images)PA Images

While there is no question that Mboma and other athletes, including Caster Semenya, were born female, in recent years there have been growing calls for athletes with DSD to be restricted from competing in women’s races over claims that their higher testosterone levels give them an ‘unfair advantage’ over their competitors.

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Semenya herself was unable to participate in Tokyo 2020 after she refused to take medications to suppress her hormone levels, a requirement she said was equivalent to being ‘drugged,’ per the New York Times.

Mboma and her compatriot Beatrice Masilingi entered the 200m after being barred by the IOC from racing in distances between 400m and 1500m due to their DSD categorisation. While Mboma herself has not commented on the ruling, Masilingi called the decision ‘very cruel.’

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: Sport, Olympics

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  1. Insider

    Gender test demanded for 200-meter silver Olympic medalist because she ran too fast, says former athlete