WINDHOEK, Aug. 18 — As the world championships kick off in Budapest, Olympic silver medallist Christine Mboma finds herself far from the arena. Instead, she’s situated 5,000 miles away, adhering to medical requirements that involve taking pills to lower her testosterone levels.
The 20-year-old Mboma, once a promising figure in athletics, has been compelled to watch the sports events from a distance due to the regulatory bomb dropped by World Athletics. Athletes with Differences in Sexual Development (DSD), characterized by having 46 XY chromosomes and internal testes, were ruled out from participating in female sports unless they reduced their elevated testosterone levels for a minimum of six to 24 months.
In response to these regulations, none of the 13 affected DSD athletes have spoken out publicly, preferring silence over confrontation. However, Mboma has decided to break her silence to share her experience with the Guardian.
Expressing her disappointment with the ruling, Mboma mentioned she’s been taking medication to lower her testosterone levels, with minimal impact on her performance. She affirmed her confidence and her ability to maintain her previous speed and training routine.
After the ruling came into effect, Mboma temporarily scaled back her training regimen. She focused on other activities and only recently resumed intensive training with the guidance of her coach, Henk Botha. Botha explained the complexity of managing Mboma’s testosterone levels, ensuring they neither drop to zero nor exceed the limit.
Despite the challenges, the medication hasn’t negatively affected Mboma’s performance. Her coach noted her continued strength and speed during training sessions. With plans to resume competitive running in late November and competing indoors for the first time, Mboma is aiming to qualify for the 2024 Olympics through early-season races in Australia.
Cautious about setting grand expectations, Mboma is preparing for her comeback with a sense of determination. While she won’t predict medals or record-breaking performances, she remains focused on giving her best with the support of her coach and medical team. In contrast to the bustling world championships in Budapest, Mboma’s current journey involves complying with medical regulations, taking pills, and watching from a distance. – Namibia Daily News