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By: Dwight Links
World Athletics head, Sebastian Coe, said that the organisation’s decision to restrict Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi.

Coe defended his organisation’s testosterone rules, noting that Mboma’s performance in the 200m final which saw her clinch the silver medal in Olympics, vindicates their decision  that banned the youngster and Masilingi from competing in the 400m.

Mboma set a blistering record for an under-20 runner at 21.81 seconds, making her the fastest woman under-20.

He was asked whether Mboma would be able to break the record set by Florence Griffith Joyner that was set in 1988 at 21.34 seconds at the Seoul Olympics for the same discipline.

“I think it’s possible,” he added. Continuing with a ‘probable’ on whether that would force his organisation to look at that scenario down the line.

The Namibian starlets have been restricted at the Games to only compete in the 200m, as they are actually better at the 400m. Their preference was stunted as they were considered to be women who have ‘Differences of Sex Development’ and naturally higher levels of testosterone.

This resulted in their international ban before they departed for the Olympics for distance races between 400m up to a mile (1.25 km).

They can only be allowed to compete if they have taken medication that regulates their hormones and brings it to the levels of 5 nmol/L. This is nanomoles per litre, which is a large amount of atoms or molecules of a substance detected per litre in your body.

According to World Athletics, their rules stipulate that most women athletes have levels of 0.12 to 1.79 nmol/L of testosterone in their bodies, and men athletes have levels of 7.7 to 29.4 nmol/L.

Caster Semenya has been hardly hit by these rules as she is still fighting to have ban overturned due to these rules.

Coe added on Mboma’s performance that there were clear indicators of her potential.

“It was pretty observable that the last 30m to 40m of the 200m (race) were impactful. And, I think that vindicated the decision about the 400m. If you are finishing a 200m like that, you extend the runway. That in a way supports the judgement that was made.”

Julia Heita

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