News 2nd May 2018

Drafter of IAAF DSD Regulations to speak at Sport Resolutions 2018

Jonathan Taylor QC (pictured), who drafted the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Differences of Sex Development (DSD) Regulations with his colleague Liz Riley at Bird & Bird LLP, is to speak at the Sport Resolutions 2018 Conference in London tomorrow. The Regulations, which were published last week, seek to regulate athletes with one of seven differences in sex development that wish to compete in international female track events run between 400m and one mile. If an athlete with one of the seven DSDs has testosterone levels in serum of above 5 nmol/L, she must either reduce her natural testosterone levels to below that limit, or she will not be eligible for international female competition.

It is understood that Taylor will speak on ‘Transgender Athletes and Their Right to Compete’, the third and final session of the day, which takes place at 2:30pm. Taylor’s biography on the Sport Resolutions Conference site, reveals that he has also drafted the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Model Transgender Regulations for International Federations, which are described as forthcoming. 

Taylor and Riley were also participants in the IOC Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism, which took place in November 2015. A document published at the meeting attempted to reassert a 10 nmol/L limit for athletes who transition from male to female, whilst athletes transitioning from female to male were permitted to compete ‘without restriction’.

Detail from the 2015 Chand ruling…

This was despite the 10 nmol/L limit being struck out by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the Dutee Chand ruling on 24 July 2015. The IAAF didn’t provide evidence that female athletes with natural testosterone levels that exceeded this enjoyed such a significant advantage that it was necessary to exclude them from female competition. The CAS Panel opined that the advantage that a man has over a women is in the order of 10% to 12%, and if the advantage asserted by the IAAF is less than that, it must show why such restrictions on competition are proportionate. The IAAF’s Hyperandrogenism Regulations, which mandated a 10 nmol/L limit were suspended by CAS in March this year, when the IAAF issued its DSD Regulations.

Taylor also chaired WADA’s Independent Observer Team at the Rio 2016 Olympics, and currently Chairs WADA’s Compliance Review Committee, and is a member of the British Horseracing Authority’s Ethics Committee. Andy Brown, the Editor of The Sports Integrity Initiative, will be attending the conference tomorrow. Follow @sport_integrity on Twitter to stay updated.

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