Kenya drops two female athletes from World Relay Championship over high testosterone

Kenyan sprinters Maximilla Imali and Evangeline Makena have been dropped from Kenya Relay Team as a precautionary measure taken by Athletics Kenya (AK), after a blood test revealed that they had high testosterone levels in their blood.

Imali says she will not take suppressant treatment to correct her hormonal imbalance even after she was axed from the Kenyan Relay team for the IAAF World Championship in Japan.

Two Kenyan athletes dropped from World Relay Championship over high testosterone level

Maximila Imali of Kenya, Morgan Mitchell and Anyika Onuora compete in the rain during the Women’s 400 metres semi finals during the Athletics on day six of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Source: Getty Images

This is a scheme to demoralise us. I am not ready to quit athletics, nor to take a suppressant treatment.

“I am so happy the way God made me to be,” the 24-year old Kenya 400m national champion told AFP.

The hormonal debate has been on the lips of many in the last few weeks after South Africa’s Caster Semenya’s landmark ruling forcing athletes with rare differences of sexual development (DSD), to regulate their testosterone levels forcing athletes with elevated testosterone levels to regulate their hormonal imbalance by taking suppressive treatment if they so wish to compete as women in races below 4000m.

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But Imali whose blood result returned positive insists that she will not be coerced into suppressing her genetic makeup.

We were summoned for the blood tests at the team hotel last Friday and when the report came out on Monday, Athletics Kenya officials informed us about the result outcome,” Imali told AFP, adding it was not the first time that she learnt about her medical issue.

Besides the duo, Margaret Nyairera the 800m specialist was also subjected to the blood tests, which showed high levels of testosterone, according to an insider and could be sent back home as well.

“We could not risk travelling with the two athletes after the recent IAAF ruling on the restriction of testosterone levels on female runners took effect on May 8,” Athletics Kenya (AK) director of competitions Paul Mutwii told AFP.

This is not the first time time that Imali has undergone a blood test to determine her testosterone levels.

In 2015, the blood test revealed excessive hyperandrogenism level, leading to her withdrawal from Kenyan squad for the World Championships in Beijing.

214 thoughts on “Kenya drops two female athletes from World Relay Championship over high testosterone

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