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Yes, Women Athletes With High Levels of Testosterone are Still Women

Yes, Women Athletes With High Levels of Testosterone are Still Women

On Monday, the final appeals courts for global sports made an important ruling that will favor athleticism over gender identifiers.

In a landmark case involving gender in sports, the ruling stated that the level of testosterone naturally occurring in an athlete's body could in no way inhibit women from competing against other women, the New York Times reports.

The specific case the court was ruling on involved Indian track sprinter Dutee Chand, whose levels of testosterone were reportedly above average. Chang refused to follow the advice of undergoing surgery, or adhering to hormone-suppressing drugs to limit the amounts of testosterone in her body stating, "I want remain who I am and compete again." 

The 19-year-old sprinter had been banned since last summer after failing her hormone test.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has questioned the athletic advantage of naturally high levels of testosterone in women and thus, was quick to suspend the practice of "hyperandrogegism regulation" by The International Association of Athletics Federations, the track and field governing body also known as I.A.A.F. The court gave the organization two years to provide persuasive scientific evidence that would link to the direct correlation between high testosterone levels and enhanced athletic performance. Evidently, the association was unable to provide such information.

This new ruling will now allow Chand to compete as part of India's team in the World Athletics Championships in Beijing beginning in August.

Check out our collection of MAKERS videos featuring women in sports, who are, literally, changing the game.

NEXT: Women in Sports: Playing With the Boys »

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Photo Credit: MANJUNATH KIRAN via Getty Images