IOC Called To 'Test' Namibian Sprinter Christine Mboma After 200m Win

Photo: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Namibian sprinter Christine Mboma took home the silver medal in the 200m race, but not without controversial remarks from a white athlete.

According to reports, former Polish sprinter Marcin Urbas called on the IOC to test Mboma after the 18-year-old ran a 21.97 semi-final run in the women’s 200m race on Tuesday (August 3).

“I would like to request a thorough test on Mboma to find out if she definitely is a woman,” Urbas reportedly said, claiming Mboma has a “testosterone advantage” over other athletes on the track. 

Mboma went on to win the silver medal, completing the final 200m run in 21.81 seconds and setting a new world record for an athlete under the age of 20. 

Mboma and fellow Namibian runner Beatrice Masilingi, 18, were banned from running in the women’s 400m race after World Athletics classified the teens as having differences in sexual development (DSD) for their naturally-occurring higher levels of testosterone, a condition neither of the teens knew they had before setting out for the Olympics.

World Athletics created the classification and rule against allowing anyone in the made-up category after South Africa’s Caster Semenya won two 800m races. Semenya wasn’t able to defend her title in Tokyo after being labeled as a DSD athlete, and refusing to take medication to reduce her testosterone levels. 

Semenya has unsuccessfully fought back against the ruling, evening bringing her case to the European Court of Human Rights earlier this year to get the regulations reversed. 

“I would love to compete in the 400m as well,” Masilingi said earlier this week. “It is very strange. I don’t really understand it. For me, it doesn’t make any sense at the moment. I hope there will be changes in the future.” 

Swimming champion Michael Phelps was widely celebrated for his “natural genetic differences,” yet Black women athletes continue to be punished for theirs.

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