The governing organisation of the sport, World Athletics, has prohibited transgender women from participating in elite female contests if they have experienced male puberty. The council also decided to reduce the maximum quantity of plasma testosterone allowed for athletes with Differences in Sex Development (DSD) by half, from five to 2.5 nanomoles per litre. World Athletics president Sebastian Coe told a news conference that the decision to exclude transgender people was based "on the overarching need to protect the female category". The governing body had previously floated the option of transgender athletes being allowed to compete in the female category if they, too, maintained testosterone levels below 2. 5 nanomoles per litre for 24 months. Yet it said that it became apparent there was little support within the sport for that proposal. "We're not saying no forever ," Coe said, adding that WA would form a task force to study the issue of trans inclusion that would be chaired by a transgender athlete.
To compete internationally in any elite event in the female division, DSD athletes will need to lower their testosterone levels below the new standard for at least 24 months, according to a statement from WA. DSD athletes including Caster Semenya, a two-time Olympic 800 metre champion, Christine Mboma, a 2020 Olympic 200 metre silver medalist, and Francine Niyonsaba, who placed second to Semenya in the 800 at the 2016 Olympics, will be impacted by the stricter rules.