Author: MOS Translation Group – GBW

Legally Cheating-Could the CCP Female Track Runner Liao Mengxue Be a Man?

During the Tokyo Olympics, Liao Mengxue, a female track runner from Communist China, went viral for “looking like a man.” You can watch her interview at this link ( Liao Mengxue’s sex has raised the question about the gender testing policy of international sports.

Source: Sina
The CCP’s female track runners. Liao Mengxue is the second from the left.

Why are we curious about Liao’s gender?

We do not want to make fun of Liao’s appearance or attack her personally. Liao’s gender is a matter of fairness. Men are physically stronger than women by nature. For example, the men’s 100-meter sprint world record is 9.58 seconds and that of women is 10.49 seconds [1]. The world high jump records are 2.45 meters and 2.09 meters for men and women, respectively [2].

Was Liao’s gender verified by the Olympic Games?

The answer should be yes. The Olympic Games test athletes’ gender by measuring the testosterone levels in the blood. Testosterone is the primary sex hormone that plays a key role in the development of male reproductive organs and secondary sexual characteristics. How about verifying gender by physical examination and chromosome testing? Actually, these methods were used in the past, but there were limitations. For example, surgery can change the physical appearance and people with male XY chromosomes may develop female sexual characteristics due to genetic disorders. Even testosterone testing is controversial because some women are born with high levels of testosterone. Anyways, naturally occurring outliers are not the focus of this article. We are more interested in finding out the possibility of Liao disguising himself as a woman and cheating in the Olympic Games.

If Liao were a male at birth, could he pass the gender testing as a woman?

The answer is yes. He could legally cheat because of the flaws in the testing rules. According to the latest rule issued by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2015, female athletes must demonstrate that their total testosterone level in the blood has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to their first competition [3]. In 2018, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) refined the requirement for female athletes’ testosterone levels to below 5 nmol/L for international track races between 400 meters and one mile in distance [4]. The same IAAF briefing states that “the main driver of the marked sex difference in sports performance (10-12% on average) is the physical advantages conferred by having testosterone levels in the male range (7.7 – 29.4 nmol/L in the blood) rather than the normal female range (0.6 – 1.68 nmol/L).” Transgender athletes or those female athletes born with high testosterone levels are allowed to take testosterone-blocking drugs to lower their testosterone levels to be qualified for games.

Data source: IAAF

We can reach two conclusions from the current gender verification policy. (a) The arbitrary threshold of 10 or 5 nmol/L is a very high level compared to the normal testosterone levels of women. (b) If Liao were a man, he could be qualified as a woman as long as he lowered his testosterone level to meet the requirement. Please don’t be surprised by this speculation. The New Zealand transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is qualified to compete in the Tokyo Olympic Games women’s super heavyweight division [5]. Besides exploiting the rules, Liao could bribe the examiners to fabricate the testing result. It is also possible that Liao was born as a female, but she took drugs at an early age to improve her performance.

What if Liao did cheat?

We do not rule out the possibility that Liao has genetic conditions that make her look like a man, but if Liao cheated, he broke the spirit of sports. “Higher, faster, and stronger” is based on fair competition, not on the ability to cheat. Liao’s case is probably not alone because audiences have noticed that many CCP female athletes look like men. These athletes could be coerced to cheat by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which puts the number of medals above athletes’ health and the Olympic spirit in the name of boosting national pride. If we do not uphold the spirit of the rules in sports, we are disenfranchising athletes who play fair and children who dream of competing in the Olympics. The IOC and IAAF should have another look at the design and implementation of the current gender testing policy which allows legally cheating, and remove athletes and countries that do not follow the spirit of the rules.


[1] 100 Meter World Records

[2] High Jump World Records

[3] IOC Policy on Gender Verification

[4] IAAF’s Policy on Gender Verification

[5] Transgender Weightlifter

Proofread/Posted: Stay

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