Tokyo 2020: Two Namibian Olympic medal contenders declared ineligible for women’s 400m due to naturally elevated testosterone levels

Mboma and Masilingi have completed four of the top five 400m in the world this year, according to the World Athletics website.

The elevated testosterone levels were detected during medical evaluations required by World Athletics.

The global governing body requires that female athlete’s blood testosterone levels be below 5 nmol / L (nanomoles per liter) to compete in certain women’s events, including the 400m.

The two 18-year-old athletes were declared ineligible due to World Athletics’ policy on athletes with Differences in Sexual Development (DSD).

World Athletics has banned athletes with high blood testosterone levels from competing in women’s 400m races one mile away in international competition when the new DSD regulations were introduced in 2018.

To compete, these athletes must lower their testosterone levels with medication, which World Athletics says ensures fair competition.

Beatrice Masilingi's 49.53 seconds in Zambia in April is the third fastest 400m time of the year.
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In 2019, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld World Athletics’ DSD rules when challenged by South African runner Caster Semenya. She lost a subsequent appeal and in February took her case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Mboma and Masilingi have been tested in Italy, where they train, according to the NNOC-CGA statement.

The committee said none of the 18-year-olds, their families, coaches or the Namibian National Olympic Committee were aware of their condition.

The committee said Mboma and Masilingi will still be able to compete in the 100m and 200m events.

The group also says they are in close contact with World Athletics to pave the way for the two athletes.

“We will analyze all the information and apply it in the best interests of these two young girls,” the statement said.

“We are optimistic about their future as elite athletes.”

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