The Madeleine Brand Show

The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Madeleine Brand

New policy requires some Olympians to submit to gender tests

by The Madeleine Brand Show

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 03: Caster Semenya of South Africa prepares before the start of the women's 400m during the Yellow Pages Interprovincial final from Bellville Athletics Track on March 03, 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Shaun Roy / Gallo Images/Getty Images) Shaun Roy / Gallo Images/Getty Images

This is part of KPCC’s "L.A. To London” series, which will be exploring local connections to the 2012 Summer Olympics. View the series and follow the series on Twitter at #latolondon.

The 30th Summer Olympic Games will kick off today with its opening ceremony and the usual massive crowds and extravagant productions. The three-hour show will feature horses, chickens, geese... and of course the many men and women competing in the games.

And South Africa's delegation will be led by Caster Semenya. The runner has been in the international spotlight for some time because of questions surrounding her gender. She has been cleared to compete in this olympics, but other athletes may have their testosterone levels tested to determine whether or not they can compete as women. If their testosterone levels are too high, they won't be able to participate.

Olympians will undergo gender testing because of a new policy that was instituted by the International Olympics Committee this year. A policy that has generated some controversy.


Myron Genel is a professor emeritus at Yale's School of Medicine and one of the doctors who's been working with the International Olympics Committee on this new policy.

For those who are interested in this topic of gender in sports, go to KPCC's Crawford Family Forum on August 1st at 7 pm for a special discussion on this topic. RSVP is required.

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