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February 12, 1992

Medical Examination for Health of All Athletes Replacing the Need for Gender Verification in International SportsThe International Amateur Athletic Federation Plan

Author Affiliations

for the International Amateur Athletic Federation Work Group on Gender Verification
From the Department of Pathology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden (Dr Ljungqvist), and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Tennessee, Memphis (Dr Simpson).

JAMA. 1992;267(6):850-852. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480060096038

FOR DECADES, success in competitive international sports has been fostered to promote national prestige and even to support superiority of certain political systems. (The former German Democratic Republic is but one prominent example of a nation in which high-level competitive sports were explicitly chosen as a vehicle to enhance a newly formed nation's identity. Other countries naturally sought to meet the competition; thus, a quasi "arms race" in sports developed.) Given the great national prestige engendered and the considerable expenditures involved in international competitive sports, it is not surprising that individual athletes or even nations were unable to resist the temptation of using illicit methods to "win at all costs." One prominent example of cheating is doping, usually with drugs. Another type of cheating, namely, the possibility that men may masquerade as women in women's events, was widely discussed in the early 1960s.

For editorial comment see p 853.