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How athletes’ sex is verified

February 4th, 2007 · No Comments

You must remember that I wrote about an Indian Athlete who failed a sex test. I was left wondering what test it was that could possibly identify a female as a male. I also wondered why the physician doing the test would’nt simply ask the athlete to lower his/her pants.

The reason why the pants stay on is that there were questions regarding whether or not it is humiliating.

So how are the test conducted?

Via slashdot, I got to the World Problems Database arranged by the UIO, where I find this problem listed:
Indeterminate sex test.
So, in short, sex is determined via analysis of the athlete’s saliva. The problem description says:

There are a variety of birth defects, affecting perhaps one person in 500, that can cause a discrepancy between chromosome composition and sex. The degrees and physical manifestations vary greatly, but there is little to indicate that it gives an athlete a competitive advantage. One international amateur sporting body has discarded testing and relies primarily on visual examination of a person’s genitals, usually as part of the overall physical

Aha! Though I very much doubt if there are any readers for this blog – I am much happier today. One problem solved, and sealed!