It's funny how some people still make a fuss about doping in sport and regard it as cheating for an athlete to use drugs or hormones.
What triggered suspicion in the case of the Chinese swimming champion Ye Shiwen was not just the fact that Chinese swimmers have previously won gold medals by cunning concealment of their use of a chemical fix, but the fact that on the day, Shiwen swam faster than a man.
Wait a moment, what's a "man"? Why are the Olympics still divided into these archaic categories that have been abolished in modern European law?
In June 2012, the Council of Europe announced its new guidelines for definition of sex and gender. Among these, was the announcement that everyone can change their sex and nobody is compelled to identify with their sex as assigned at birth. "Gender" it seems is entirely a matter of option for the individual. So what is to stop any male athlete from competing legally in the women's category of any sport? Swimming, running, jumping or anything else. Why can't a female athlete take male hormones? Why can't a male athlete have a little op and then compete in the women's swimming?
These laws are out of date, aren't they? If sex has been abolished and gender is a matter of choice, the Olympic committee is in violation of the rules of the Council of Europe. When the rules catch up with transgender nonsense legislation, no woman will ever again stand any chance of winning any event in the Olympics.
Personally, I don't think that Shiwen looks like a man. Suggestions that her hands are rather large or her chin stubbly don't correspond to the pictures I've seen. Whether or not any Chinese athlete has used drugs, I really would not like to say, or even to imply. But then I am an old-fashioned person who thinks that a man is a man and a woman is a woman. You not only born with a sexual identity, you have one at the moment of conception. Taking artificial hormones to deceive the onlooker or having bits removed looks like a pointless sham to me, in the sporting arena - or anywhere else.
"3.2 Legal recognition of the preferred gender
Article 8 of the European Convention states that ‘‘everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence’’. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that failure of a state to alter the birth certificate of a person to the preferred gender constitutes a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.21 Member states are thus required to legally recognise the gender change of transsexual persons.
A common feature of most gender recognition procedures, if in place at all, is the combination of cumbersome legal and medical requirements, the borderlines of which are often blurred. Lengthy processes of psychological, psychiatric and physical tests are characteristic features of such procedures. Some, like genital examinations by psychiatrists, amount to non-respect of the physical integrity of the person. Often transgender people choose not to enter the official procedures at all due to discriminatory medical processes and inappropriate treatment, or due to the fact that only one course of treatment is available. They are then, in turn, denied legal recognition of their preferred gender and name, or gender reassignment treatment that fits their own wishes and personal health needs. Despite ample case law from the European Court of Human Rights in favour of recognition, legal recognition remains a challenging process for many transgender persons in the Council of Europe member states."