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Doctors ordered - avoid new athletic rules

Friday April 26th, 2019

Doctors should boycott new rules aimed at defining female athletes, according to a major global medical organisation.

The rules are contrary to international medical ethics and human rights standards, according to the World Medical Association.

The WMA issued its ruling following a meeting of its council in Santiago, Chile.

It objects to rules issued by the International Association of Athletics Federations requiring some women to reduce their natural blood testosterone level to meet the IAAF's requirements for competing in women's sports.

The new rules still have to be confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The WMA says the IAAF is pressurising affected women to take "unjustified" medication. It added that it was unethical for doctors to prescribe treatments for a condition that was not recognised as pathological.

A statement said: "The WMA calls on physicians to oppose and refuse to perform any test or administer any treatment or medicine which is not in accordance with medical ethics, and which might be harmful to the athlete using it, especially to artificially modifying blood constituents, biochemistry or endogenous testosterone."

WMA President Dr Leonid Eidelman said: "We have strong reservations about the ethical validity of these regulations. They are based on weak evidence from a single study, which is currently being widely debated by the scientific community.

"They are also contrary to a number of key WMA ethical statements and declarations, and as such we are calling for their immediate withdrawal."

Tags: Fitness | Women's Health & Gynaecology | World Health

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