Princess Anne made history by competing in the 1976 Olympics, becoming the first British monarch to compete in a major international sport. She made history in a different way, as she is the only woman to be exempt from “gender testing”.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) first introduced the gender test in 1968 in an effort to ensure fair competition. These tests were mandatory for female athletes, primarily to prevent men from competing in women’s competitions, as the committee feared they would stand as women and gain an unfair advantage over their rivals.
Mandatory gender testing was formally discontinued in 1999, although it can be reviewed if there are any questions about the gender of individual athletes. But it was only when Princess Anne made her debut at the 1976 Montreal Games, where she was part of the mixed sex equestrian team for Britain.
While other female athletes were ordered to undergo sex tests in the same sport, Princess Royal was pardoned because she was considered unfit for the daughter of King Queen Elizabeth II. People also reported that such a test is meaningless for riders because men and women compete against each other on this occasion. Reuters.
The gender potential of female athletes is still being debated. One of the earliest questions raised about the test was when Polish athlete Eva Kobokowska became the first athlete to fail in 1967. A rare genetic condition (XX / XXY mosaicism) was found that did not give him any advantage over other athletes, but he was still banned from participating in the Olympic and professional sports.
The talks were resumed after two-time Olympic gold medalist from South Africa, Castor Seminia, was stopped from having naturally higher testosterone levels than other women. He had to undergo a test after winning the 2009 World Championships, after which he was eliminated from the competition.
Nearly a year later, she was finally allowed to compete in London 2012, where she won a silver medal in the women’s 800 meters, but many believe she had poor tactics to win and avoid further controversy. Looks like a practical race. She won the 2016 Olympics and the 2017 World Championships. However, new global athletics rules enacted in 2019 prevent women like Seminia from participating in the women’s category unless they undergo hormonal therapy to lower their testosterone levels. Seminia filed a human rights appeal with the European Court of Human Rights earlier this year.