Madeleinie Pape

Madeleinie Pape

She was an Australian middle distance runner. She ran badly in a heat of the 800 metres at the World Championships in Berlin in August 2009, finishing second-last. In the middle of the pack was Caster Semenya.

Despite being asked to take a gender test, Semenya won the 800 metres in the World Championship. Pape wondered then: Had she been beaten by someone with an unfair advantage? In 2010, Pape badly damaged her Achilles tendon, never to run again.

She moved to the US to study sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She started questioning her previous faith in the science that underpinned sex testing in sport. Pape is now a supporter of Semenya. Pape is a vocal critic of the sex testing of female athletes. Semenya won Gold in the Rio Olympics in the 800 metres.

Pape also testified in support of Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, dropped for her testosterone levels. Chand’s appeal was upheld.

In April 2018, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced new rules that required hyperandrogenous athletes to take medication to lower their testosterone levels. So, the fight goes on.