In the International Athletics Federation there could be a case like that of Benajmin Button

The U20 World Athletics Championship in Finland is in the eye of the hurricane due to the controversial participation of the Ethiopian athlete Girmawit Gebrzihair

In the International Athletics Federation there could be a case like that of Benajmin Button

The most recent edition of the U20 World Athletics Championship was full of controversy, due to the participation of the Ethiopian athlete, Girmawit Gebrzihair, who won a bronze medal in the women's 5,000 meters, according to the information registered on the official website of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The athlete was born on November 21, 2001, that is, she is 16 years old. However, her physical appearance seems to contradict this information and calls into question the veracity of her age. Outstanding sportsmen have raised their voices to express their doubt. For its part, the federation ensures that the athlete meets all the guidelines to participate.

Leer en español: En la Federación Internacional de Atletismo podría haber un caso como el de Benajmin Button

According to Caracol TV, Gebrzihair won the bronze medal with records of 15 minutes and 35 seconds, only surpassed by her compatriot Ejgayehu Taye (silver) and the winner of the gold Beatrice Chebet, native of Kenya. Winning the third position did not de-focus people from the physical appearance of Girmawit, who does not appear to be the age to compete in the sub-20 modality.

In fact, the same portal cites users who doubt the veracity in terms of the athlete's age: "Through social networks users have made fun of the competitor. ‘16? This woman has gone through the civil war, the two world wars and saw Pele raise the 1970 cup’."

According to an article published in the Spanish digital newspaper El Confidencial, the IAAF has tried to implement techniques to avoid adulteration or falsehood in birth certificates. However, this verification may be compromised by the conditions of certain countries.

Also read: Dementia: the #1 enemy of athletes

Waiting for the Semenya case

The situation with Gebrzihair put the spotlight on the IAFF and rekindled the controversy with the South African Caster Semenya, who in 2017 won her third world title, the gold in the 800 meters in London. The South African has an anomaly called "Intersexuality" where she naturally produces three times more male hormones than normal in a woman. Even the sex of the athlete was questioned as well as the discussion of whether she could compete in female athletics or not, according to the portal 20minutos.

As LatinAmerican Post reported in another article, Semenya will take legal action against this decision of the IAAF, through the Court of Arbitration of Sport of Lausanne (TAS), covered in a document stating that she is a woman and wants to run as born. She also described as a discriminatory, irrational, unjustifiable, and violation of human rights this new rule, as indicated in the newspaper La Nación de Argentina.

 

LatinAmerican Post | Daniela Escalante
Translated from “En la Federación Internacional de Atletismo podría haber un caso como el de Benajmin Button”

 

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