Taking cue from 2006 Doha Asian Games- when an Indian athlete Santhi Sundar Rajan was stripped of her silver medal in 800meter track event after failing a sex determination test-Olympic authorities in Beijing have formed a four member medical team to examine doubtful athletes for gender determination.
The experts are all from Peking Union Medical College Hospital, which has designed the facility to ensure minimum embarrassment to the athletes who would be asked to undergo the sex determination tests.
Professor Tian Qinjie, one of the four experts told the state media, “The suspected athletes will be first evaluated from their external appearance and then will undergo blood tests for determining their sex hormones, genes and chromosomes to finally determine the sex.”
Professor Tian further explained that as many as 1 in 1000 is born with gender abnormalities and are not aware of the same until after reaching adulthood. He said that in many sports male athletes are better poised in strength, speed and endurance over their female competitors.
As per available statistics, in track and field events, male performance is about 15% better than female and specially in speed events the higher performance of male may be as high as 20% compared to female performers.
This explains the need of sex determination tests in suspected cases.