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Caster Semenya in 2012. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Namibian 18-year-old sprinters Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi will not be allowed to compete in the women's 400 meters at the Tokyo Olympics due to having naturally high testosterone levels, according to the Namibia National Olympic Committee.

Driving the news: The sprinters now join South African runner Caster Semenya, who is banned from competing after World Athletics ruled in 2018 "that to ensure fair competition, women with high natural testosterone levels must take medication to reduce them to compete in middle-distance races," CNN writes.

Details: The Namibian committee said the testosterone levels were detected in medical assessments required by World Athletics. Neither athlete, their families, coaches or the committee knew about the condition.

  • World Athletics says the "female classification is 'protected'" and "individuals who identify as female but have a certain difference of sex development (DSD) (which means that they have the same advantages over women as men do over women) can pose a challenge to that protected category."

Yes, but: There is "limited research to support the claim that higher testosterone levels offer an unfair advantage," Axios' Jeff Tracy writes.

What's next: The Namibian committee said Mboma and Masilingi will still be allowed to compete in the 100- and 200-meter races.

Go deeper

Medicine's trust problem among women

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The lingering legacy of clinical trials failing to include women as participants, combined with frequent gaslighting by doctors and a general lack of research on women's bodies, has led many to mistrust medicine.

Why it matters: This mistrust plus a constant barrage of misinformation can influence women's health decisions, including deciding not to follow recommendations for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ina Fried, author of Login
37 mins ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

How smartphone cameras became the best cameras

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

For years, the smartphone has been the most convenient camera, and in recent years it has also become the easiest and most versatile camera. But this year's high-end smartphones have taken things to a new level — capturing images that would be either tough or impossible even with a high-end digital camera.

Between the lines: Traditional cameras have the advantage of bigger sensors and better lenses, but smartphone cameras are rivaling and even surpassing them by tapping computational power.

The rise of vegan food in unexpected places

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vegan cuisine is popping up in two places it wasn't present before: fine dining and fast food.

Why it matters: The single biggest way an individual can reduce their carbon footprint is to eat less meat and dairy. Now, the popularization of meatless meals could help curb meat consumption in the U.S.

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