Silvia CAMPORESI

Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity, Department of Political Science, University of Vienna, AUSTRIA

Host: S. Kerbavcic

Bioethics and Sport: Evidence, Values and Norms underlying competition for athletes

There is a fundamental tension intrinsic in athletics: human sex is not binary, and there are only two

categories in which people can compete: men, and women. In the late 1990s, all forms of sex testing

had been abandoned by the International Olympic Committee due to some high-profile false

positive cases. After a brief interval, sex testing re-emerged in 2009 with the case of South-African

runner Caster Semenya, whose gold medal at the World Track & Field Championship in Berlin was

revoked on suspicion of an unfair advantage derived from a “male biological make-up”. Following

an investigation, in May 2011,World Athletics (WA) enacted ‘Hyperandrogenism regulations’

which require that female athletes with endogenous testosterone levels above 5 nmol/Lit take

androgen suppressive therapy as a condition to compete in the female category. Since the original

formulation, the WA Hyperandrogenism regulations have undergone multiple iterations, the most

recent one in March 2023, and have been at the centre of three high profile legal disputes, two at

the Court for Arbitration of Sport also known as the “Supreme Court for Sports” (2015; 2019), and

one at the European Court of Human Rights (2023). In this talk I will provide a bioethics and sport

approach to the question of unfair advantage and eligibility to compete in the female category

for athletes with DSD, reviewing the evidence, values and norms underlying the World Athletics

regulations to compete in the female category for athletes with DSD.

Short bio: Silvia Camporesi is a bioethicist with a longstanding interest in technologies and health,

and an interdisciplinary background in biotechnology, ethics, and philosophy of medicine. She has

published more than 50 peer reviewed articles, and 3 monographs (2 in English, for UC Medical

Humanities Press in 2014 and Routledge in 2018, and 1 in Italian, for Fandango, 2023). She is Deputy

Chair of the British Philosophy of Sport Association, and a member of the Ethics Advisory Expert

Group of World Anti-Doping Agency. Her current affiliation is with the Centre for the Study of

Contemporary Solidarity, Department of Political Science, University of Vienna. You can reach her

at: [email protected]

And find out more about her research at: https://silviacamporesiresearch.org/

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