The Olympic Meddle: The International Olympic Committee's Intrusion of Athletes' Privacy Through the Discriminatory Practice of Gender Verification Testing


Raheel Saleem


VOL. XXVIII • Fall 2010 • NO. 1 (table of contents)

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28 John Marshall J. of Comp. & Info. Law 49


The IOC and the IAAF act as governing bodies for athletes and, therefore, are innately responsible for their actions. However, the gender verification rule exemplifies that irresponsible actions by these governing agencies adversely effects its athletes. The gender verification rule empowers both the IOC and the IAAF to make life-changing decisions without any restriction, leaving athletes susceptible to the unfettered power and abuse of the rule. The legal foundation established by the international human rights declarations support the argument that gender verification testing must be abolished because of its embedded discrimination and intrusive nature. An application of the ICCPR provides that the practice of gender verification testing is discriminatory against both women and intersexed individuals; moreover, such practice is an abrasive intrusion of privacy. The IOC and the IAAF also violate the UDHDHR and the IDHGD because gender verification tests discriminate based on genetic characteristics, which later stigmatize intersexed athletes. Therefore, the gender verification rule must be abolished.

Author Footnote:

Raheel (“Bobby”) Saleem is a J.D. Candidate, 2011, at The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois. He will present this comment at the Ithaca College's Second Conference on Law, Policy and the Olympic Movement in London, England on May 18-20, 2011. He would like to dedicate this comment to every person who has been discriminated against because of characteristics that are not readily accepted by society.

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