Olympic Gender Test

The Chinese government will begin a “gender determination” process for female athletes to make sure they’re not too manly:

Experts at the lab, located at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital, will evaluate cases based on their external appearance and take blood samples to test hormones, genes and chromosomes…

The concept has drawn criticism over the years, largely because certain chromosomal abnormalities may cause a woman to fail a test, even though it gives her no competitive advantage. Also, if a female athlete fails a test she must have a physiological examination, which many consider invasive and a privacy violation.

At the 1996 Atlanta Games, eight athletes failed the tests but were all cleared by subsequent examinations. Santhi Soundarajan, a middle-distance runner from India, was stripped of an Asian Games silver medal in 2006 after failing a gender verification test.

We wonder where a post-op male-to-female would stand…

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  • Stef

    This really has nothing to do with the topic…but am I the only person who sees a veiny penis in the Beijing 2008 logo? Like one of those inkblot tests??

    I’m sorry, I know it’s horribly immature but it’s things like this that get me through work :)

  • Darth Paul

    “We wonder where a post-op male-to-female would stand…”
    They would almost certainly declare her male unless she had Klinefelters or had genetic chimerism or mosaicism…and even then, the burden of proof would be on the athlete.

    (@Stef- yeah, I totally see it!)

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