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Global Sports Community Joins WSF and Athlete Ally in Calling on IAAF to Rescind Discriminatory Policy

In response to the recent IAAF regulations, which openly discriminate against female athletes with naturally higher levels of testosterone, more than 60 athletes in the global sports community have signed on to a letter to advocate for an equitable and inclusive athletic experience for all. The powerful letter has been endorsed by WSF Founder Billie Jean King and WSF President Grete Eliassen as well as Abby Wambach, Aimee Mullins, Megan Rapinoe, Meghan Duggan and Jessica Mendoza.

Dear Members of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council:

We the undersigned members of the sports community are deeply troubled by the recently announced regulations that discriminate against female athletes with naturally elevated testosterone that would require them to undergo medically unnecessary interventions to lower their testosterone levels as a precondition of participation in sport.

No woman should be required to change her body to compete in women’s sport.

These regulations continue the invasive surveillance and judgment of women’s bodies that have long tainted women’s sport. They intensify the unfair scrutiny that female athletes already experience and exacerbate discrimination against women in sport who are perceived as not prescribing to normative ideas about femininity, which can include their appearance, their gender expression, and their sexuality.

As Dutee Chand said regarding the last regulation: “I do not wish to see anyone else go through the process that I had to go through or be scrutinized the way that I was. My heart goes out to all the women who are targeted by the new regulation.”

Such discrimination undermines the spirit of sport, and violates the 4th fundamental principle of the Olympic Charter, to which the IAAF adheres:

The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

As leaders in our athletic community, we believe that sport changes the world when it welcomes and empowers all people. What is at stake here is far more than the right to participate in a sport. Women’s bodies, their wellbeing, their ability to earn a livelihood, their very identity, their privacy and sense of safety and belonging in the world, are at imminent risk.

We demand you rescind these discriminatory regulations, and stand with female athletes globally in pursuit of an equitable and inclusive athletic experience.

Sincerely,

Billie Jean King Founder, Women’s Sports Foundation, tennis
Abby Wambach Two-time Olympic Gold medalist, FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion
Aimee Mullins Paralympian, Women’s Hall of Fame, track & field
Alana Nichols Three-time Paralympic Gold medalist, canoeing, skiing, wheelchair basketball
Angela Hucles Two-time Olympic Gold medalist, soccer
Angela Ruggiero Olympic Gold medalist, Hockey Hall of Fame
Anna Turney Two-time Paralympian, skiing
Annie Pokorny Professional cross-country skier, NCAA All-American
Ashwini Nanchappa Olympian, track & field
Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir NCAA basketball player, lead activist in overturning FIBA’s hijab ban
Bree Schaaf Olympian, skeleton
Brenda Villa Olympic Gold medalist, water polo
Carrie Sheinberg Olympian, skiing
Casey Legler Olympian, swimming
Charmaine Reid Olympian, badminton
Collette Smith First NY Jets female coach
Dawn Riley Only American to sail in three America’s Cups and two Whitbread Round-the-World Races
Devin Logan Olympic Silver medalist, snowboarding
Dutee Chand Olympian, track field
Elana Meyers Taylor Two-time Olympic Silver medalist, bobsled
Elena Hight Two-time Olympian, X-Games Gold medalist, snowboarding
Erin Hamlin Olympic Bronze medalist, luge
Esther Lofgren Olympic Gold medalist, rowing
Grete Eliassen WSF President, two-time Winter X Games Gold medalist, skiing
Hannah Kearney Olympic Gold medalist, skiing
Hedvig Lindahl Olympian, Chelsea FC Women
Jaelin Kauf Olympian, World Championships Bronze medalist, skiing
Jen Hudak Five-time Winter X Games medalist, skiing
Jessica Fishlock Seattle Reign FC co-captain
Jessica Long 23-time Paralympic medalist, swimming
Jessica Mendoza Two-time Olympic medalist, U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, softball
Joanna Lohman Professional soccer player, Washington Spirit FC
Josh Dixon World Cup Champion, two-time NCAA Team Champion, gymnastics
Julia Boserup Professional tennis player, member of the WTA player council
Katelin Guregian Olympic Gold medalist, rowing
Kathryn Roach World Rowing Under 23 Champion
Laurence Halsted Olympian, fencing
Layshia Clarendon WNBA All-Star
Lee Ford Paralympian, archery
Leslie Osborne Retired NWSL player, NCAA Champion
Lori Lindsey Olympic Gold medalist, soccer
Lyn St. James Seven-time Indianapolis 500 driver
Madeleine Pape Olympian, track & field
Mary Harvey Olympian, Retired NWSL player
Mary Osborne Three-time Women’s Pro Champion, surfing
Mary Whipple Two-time Olympic Gold medalist, rowing
Maya Reddy Retired Professional golfer
Megan Kalmoe Olympic Bronze medalist, rowing
Megan Rapinoe Olympic Gold medalist, FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion
Meghan Duggan Olympic Gold medalist, U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey team co-captain
Meghan O’Leary Olympian, World Rowing Championship Silver medalist
Nancy Hogshead-Makar Three-time Olympic Gold medalist, swimming
Nika Ouellette Three-time NCAA All-American, track & field
Oksana Masters Eight-time Paralympic medalist, biathlon, cycling, rowing, skiing
Pam Boteler The True Athlete Project, WomenCAN International President, canoeing
Patti Kauf Three-time X Games Bronze medalist, skiing
Phaidra Knight USA Rugby’s Player of the Decade, World Rugby Hall of Fame
Pinki Paramanik Asian Games Gold medalist, track & field
Rachel Dawson Three-time Olympian, field hockey
Sophia Herzog Paralympic Silver medalist, swimming
Suzy Favor Hamilton Three-time Olympian, track & field
Toccara Ross Professional basketball player, SEABL
Wendy Hilliard USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame
Yael Averbuch Professional soccer player, Seattle Reign FC

Join Global Sports Community in Demanding IAAF Rescind Discriminatory Policy
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