New Delhi: In a guarded response to the Court of Arbitration decision to suspend the IAAF Hyperandrogenism Regulations for two years in a case involving Dutee Chand, the world athletics body on Tuesday said that it will consult experts and IOC on the future course of action.
In an interim award, a three-member panel of the CAS yesterday partially upheld Chand's appeal challenging the validity of the IAAF's Hyperandrogenism Regulations and allowed her to resume her career.
The world's top sports tribunal, however, did not close the case and said that it will hold further hearings if the IAAF furnishes more evidence "concerning the magnitude of the performance advantage that hyperandrogenic females enjoy over other females as a result of their abnormality of high androgen levels".
The IAAF's hyperandrogenism policy bars female athletes whose bodies produce natural levels of testosterone above permissible range. The 19-year-old Dutee was disqualified last year by the AFI as per IAAF's hyperandrogenism policy after tests revealed that she has this condition of hyperandrogenism.
"IAAF has received the CAS's interim award in the Dutee Chand case, where the validity of IAAF's Hyperandrogenism Regulations has been challenged," the world body said in a statement.
"The IAAF will now meet as soon as possible with its experts and with the IOC and its experts to discuss how best to address this interim ruling by the CAS. The IAAF will make no further comments on this subject until those discussions are concluded," it added.
The IAAF said that the Hyperandrogenism Regulations were adopted following a lengthy and comprehensive consultation exercise by its Expert Working Group in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee, involving world-leading experts across various fields, along with numerous other stakeholders.
The Lausanne-based CAS, however, was not convinced that the evidence produced before the tribunal was sufficient to conclude that "hyperandrogenic female athletes may enjoy such a significant performance advantage that it is necessary to exclude them from competing in the female category". It refused to uphold the validity of these regulations.
"The IAAF has not provided sufficient scientific evidence about the quantitative relationship between enhanced testosterone levels and improved athletics performance in hyperandrogenic athletes. In the absence of such evidence, the Panel is unable to conclude that hyperandrogenic female athletes may enjoy such a significant performance advantage that it is necessary to exclude them from competing in the female category," said the CAS.
"In these circumstances, the Panel is unable to uphold the validity of the Regulations. The Panel therefore suspends the Hyperandrogenism Regulations for a period of two years, subject to the following provisos. At any time during that two-year period, the IAAF may submit further written evidence to the CAS concerning the magnitude of the performance advantage that hyperandrogenic females enjoy over other females as a result of their abnormality of high androgen levels," the CAS said.
"In the event that the IAAF submits such evidence, the Panel will issue further directions enabling the athlete to respond to that evidence and listing the matter for a further hearing for the Panel to consider whether that evidence is sufficient to establish the validity of the regulation. In the event that the IAAF does not file any evidence within that two-year window (or if it notifies the CAS in writing that it does not intend to file such an evidence) then the Hyperandrogenism Regulations shall be declared void."