Who has the unfair advantage? (Video script)
There’s been a lot of testosterone talk lately, which we’re kind used to.
But this time it’s been about who has it, how much of it and whether it gives athletes, specifically female athletes, an unfair advantage?
Hmm, maybe it does.
I guess that’s the genetic lottery. Bigger hands, longer strides, greater reach. You win some. You lose others. What you gonna do? Blame mother nature?
Okay, so I’m game. Let’s put our two athletes side by side and see what this unfair advantage might look like…
Step forward if you have ever been advantaged by higher testosterone levels.
Actually, make that 4 steps…just to be fair.
Take one step forward if you were born into an athletics family and had access to competition at a young age.
Take a step back if you didn’t have access to running shoes or training during your formative years.
Take a step forward if your country spent £280m just on the Rio Olympics and has a dedicated sports budget.
Take a step back if your country doesn’t even have a sports programme for schools, let alone pays for it.
Take a step forward if you have access to high performance facilities, trainers and experts.
Take a step back, if you have learnt to go without.
Another step forward if you enjoy the support of international athletics bodies and the media.
And go back a step if you have been subjected to gender tests, media scrutiny or invasion of privacy. (Why is this important? It puts one athlete at a major psychological disadvantage (low self esteem + low confidence = low performance).
So where does that leave our athletes?
Or, put another way, who’s got the unfair advantage now?
PS. okay, so that’s the other extreme. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. But when it comes to gender, equality and identity, sometimes you need to go long so you don’t come short.