@SUE_K47 Yes I saw it. And it’s important that the research be recognised as flawed (in some respects, faulty) & limited. But I don’t see this as the bombshell Roger is claiming. the DSD policy has two components - the evidence around specific events (which is what the paper did so badly
@SUE_K47 …and second, the principle regarding androgenisation in males, not females, that necessitates a separate competition. I think everyone at CAS already knew this about the research - it was discussed at great length there. From the flaws to the theoretical problems. The IAAF even
@SUE_K47 …conceded, at CAS, that there were issues with the research, and nobody claimed it was “conclusive proof” of advantage. So this correction doesn’t actually change much about what was heard by CAS - both sides debated the paper pretty intensely. So I don’t think it’s a ‘bombshell
@SUE_K47 …for the policy & the CAS decision (which really was made based on a lot more than the Bermon paper, which was in fact a small part of it by the end, even though it contributed to that really clumsy stupid paradox of which events are regulated). It’ll be interesting to see what
@SUE_K47 …they do next, but for sure, anyone claiming that this is a revelation and that WA hid this and nobody knew that their research on these events and T’s effects was weak is actually misleading people. It was one of two or three major issues discussed at CAS already.
@SUE_K47 In fact, you know that old thing they always teach people “Correlation doesn’t imply causation”? That’s what this is. And I can’t believe that’s what they corrected about their paper. It was so obviously a limited study. That’s why WA downplayed it at CAS, and instead argued the
@SUE_K47 …issue from a principle of theory and biology of testosterone. They barely even mentioned the Bermon study, which is itself interesting - they knew how weak it was. Everyone did. Saying it publicly in the journal is good, but I don’t think it’s really new. At least, not to CAS
@SUE_K47 It was really all so messy - CAS asked for specific evidence, which was always going to be impossible to provide. WA tried, badly, and had some super dodgy results, in a now discredited study. But by the time CAS considered the case that evidence was less important to the debate
@SUE_K47 …than the principle, because by that time, WA had managed to reframe it as a biological male issue, rather than one of women with high T. So I suppose it’s possible for CAS to now say “hang on, let’s have another look at the evidence again”, but then WA could also say “But you
@SUE_K47 …already saw it, you had two experts come in and criticise it, we discussed it, and it was all disclosed in the proceeding, this is nothing new, so why must we go back now?”. I don’t know how it will go, but I don’t think it’s an earth-moving development.

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More from @Scienceofsport

4 Aug
@DesiFootyStats It’s different by scale (a lot) and concept. First, scale. Phelps was about 0.2-0.4% better than his rivals. Indeed, he even lost races. His “advantage” was worth about half an arm length. Compared to the male vs female advantage, that’s tiny. M vs F is about 10-12%, so Phelps
@DesiFootyStats …would be about FIVE body lengths ahead of Ledecky or McKeown. The M vs F difference is enormous, way way bigger than anything that exists within males because of long arms or whatever other simplified theory one has for why an athlete wins.

Next, let’s talk concept.
@DesiFootyStats Let’s begin by asking “why do categories exist in sport?” What’s the reason we have a women’s event, or a lightweight boxing title, or age categories etc?

The answer is that we create categories because we want the outcome of a sports event to have meaning and be a way to
Read 11 tweets
2 Aug
Folks, you can't measure the presence of an advantage by whether someone wins or not. It has to be measured relative to self. The final performance is the SUM of base level PLUS advantage. So looking only at the final says nothing about the presence of absence of an advantage.
For instance, if I competed in the Tour de France with a 100W motor in my bike, I clearly have an advantage. But I still wouldn’t win - my base level is too low. In order to surpass the competition, your base level must be close enough to them that your advantage takes you ahead
The same is true if you use a doping analogy. We KNOW doping improves performance, it is an advantage. But a doper doesn’t always win. Because unless the doper is within the % of their rivals that doping improves then by, their base level will not allow them to win an event.
Read 4 tweets
2 Aug
The paradox in action. Illegal advantage in the 400, legal in the 200. The reason this weirdness exists can be traced back to the CAS Chand decision in 2016, and the “narrow” framing of evidence for the DSD policy, but this situation was inevitable. The events are too similar
Ok, brief explanation. In 2016, the policy for DSD athletes covered all events. Chand challenged it, and CAS said they understood the rationale for the policy, but it required evidence. WA were thus mandated to find the evidence. They tried, but did a poorly conceived study that
…looked for an association between T and performance in each event. They found a positive association in the 400m, 400m H & 800m, and actually a negative on in the 100m! But the policy was thus revised to cover those events, plus the 1500m, as it was deemed similar to 800
Read 10 tweets
30 Jul
Mixed 4 x 400m relay heat 1 in Tokyo has just given us a great illustration of sex differences in running (see leg 3 to 4). Based on some discussion here over the last few months, a lot of people need to see this real world illustration. Including, apparently, English commentary
Speaking of the mixed relay, I think it would make the race incredibly exciting if they made teams draw randomly to decide the order of sexes. Imagine a race with some teams going MMFF, some FFMM, some MFFM, or MFMF etc. That race would be suspenseful and hugely unpredictable

Here’s a handy little toolkit for that mixed 4 x 400m final. Top 2 qualifiers (or heat winners) get to select their order. The other 6, you just cut these little strips up, and make the teams draw from a hat. I promise it’ll be super exciting the whole way! 👍🏼
Read 4 tweets
29 Jul
On transgender women & performance advantages. One thought - isn’t it astonishing that given “lots of aspects…physiology & anatomy & the mental side”, that NO female has EVER come within 10% of the best 1000 males?

Or…is this an irrelevant distraction given that BOTH males...
…and females already possess the physiology & mental side necessary to be champions within their respective characteristics? So what is the source of the huge gulf in performance?

This is, in fact, the most direct journey to saying a women’s category is not necessary in sport
That is, if elite performance is a result of "a lot of aspects", we can crown a single “human” champion in all events

But where are women among the top 1000 humans in the world right now? Is it a co-incidence that they never have these aspects?

Or…maybe they’re different?
Read 7 tweets
21 Jun
@tomhfh I can assure you that I am not the one who is confused. Let’s take weight - a weight class exists for boxing in BOTH men AND in women. Why is that? What would happen if we mix the sexes at the same weight? So again, let me ask, since you feel you know this: How would you do it?
@tomhfh Let’s take the first step. We use weight. We say that a male at 70kg should be accepted into women’s sport at 70kg. Now we discovered that this male is 34% stronger than the weight-matched female. Now what? We have to screen for strength, is that right? How do we do this in a
@tomhfh …credible and valid way? Which tests would you use? What about punching power, which is 260% higher in males? Even if that is adjusted for mass, it stays say 150% higher. Which test might be conducted to match those together? Now think about speed - males are 10-15% faster than
Read 10 tweets

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