Gender verification test: Analyzing the legal ramifications on women athletes

Singh, Adeeti (2020) Gender verification test: Analyzing the legal ramifications on women athletes. Journal for Sports Law, Policy and Governance, 2 (1).

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Gender Verification Test as the name suggests essentially means to determine an athlete's gender, i.e., whether they are male or female since both males and females have been competing separately in competitive sports. The purpose of this research paper is to trace the history behind the need to indulge in such tests, the various methods by which it has been done over the years, the criteria and the studies the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) has placed its dependence on, the impact all this has on an athlete's career and how it ends up violating human rights of female athletes by using a few topical examples. The paper would begin by analyzing the different methods that have been used to identify an athlete's gender and the reason behind starting such a test in the field of sports. Further, the paper will glance over the policies followed by IAAF (the International Association of Athletics Federations), which are flawed and based on restrictive research (for example, just relying on scientific statistics and studies that are not always accurate), and which are enforced by CAS as well, giving rise to problematic precedents. The paper will also cover the cases of Caster Semenya and Dutee Chand very briefly, touching upon the important contents in the CAS judgments concerning their eligibility to participate in sports internationally. Lastly, the author intends to develop an argument as to how this verification tests could be humiliating (because only females are subjected to these), could lead to a tarnished reputation globally and how it is unfair because certain legal policies could determine how much female-ness is enough to be considered a female. The paper aims to conclude by showing an interplay between the Indian constitutional protections offered by Article 14 (equality before law) and Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) and gender testing that violates the said fundamental rights offemale athletes.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Sex verification test | IAAF | CAS | Fundamental rights
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Mr. Syed Anas
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2022 09:27
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2022 09:27
Official URL:


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