15

6 comments

"She won three gold medals in the 1960s but was the focus of speculation about her gender. She retired after pulling out of a track meet that would have required a sex test."

[–] zephyrean 6 points (+6|-0) Edited

It's a strange case. Tamara and her younger sister Irina were the two biological children of a Soviet Jewish couple and lived as girls from childhood. They definitely weren't men transed later for international athletic success. I find it extremely unlikely that their parents would trans out both of their sons for some nebulous "profit", evacuated to Samarkand during WWII. If they had a DSD, it must be a heritable one (not abnormal development in utero, not a random genetic defect). From the NYT article, it's likely she withdrew because she took steroids and couldn't pass the nude exam because of that. (Both sisters trained under the same celebrity coach.)

One remarkable thing about that article is how the NYT are eager to cry "cheatzors" when Soviet maybe-men are involved, but slobber all over the definitely male, definitely cheating Caster Semenya, Gavin Hubbard, and Rhys McKinnon.

Interesting. In photos, they look fully male to me. I read that it would have been easy to get around the steroid testing back then, but I don't know enough about the history of drug testing in sports, intersex players, etc.

Just sharing this in case anyone wants to use it for adding historical context to the female-only sports discussion.

[–] dixiechick547 2 points (+2|-0)

Interesting. I assume that the ‘nude parade’ was still in effect in 1976 when a commentator stated that Princess Anne was the only Olympian not subject to it. They clearly were males maybe with a DSD which is why they pulled out. I wonder if the Soviets were doing what these African countries are doing now—specifically scouting for males with DSDs. And once the sex tests became a thing they switched to doping which was totally a thing by 1976 with the notorious East German swimmers.

The IOC has got to get a handle on the DSD issue before these countries stop scouting for them and start breeding them. I was impressed that the NYT finally admitted that Semenya is a dude.

[–] ByzantineOtter 0 points (+0|-0)

The NYT admitted Semenya is male? When?

[–] dixiechick547 2 points (+2|-0)

In the article they refer to him as intersex and ‘female identifying’. All the other media has called him a woman with ‘naturally-occurring high testosterone. (Of course it occurs naturally he has testes, that’s what they do!) even though the ruling clearly states that it only applies to XYs with DSDs. They make it sound like it applies to women with high testosterone and it doesn’t.