Niger’s Aminatou Seyni, the third-fastest female 400m runner this year, said she could not compete in the event at the world championships due to the IAAF’s new testosterone cap for women’s events between the 400m and mile, according to multiple reports.
Seyni, after advancing through the 200m first round on Monday, confirmed she entered the shorter race because she was barred from the 400m, according to reports.
The 22-year-old burst onto the scene this season by taking 1.5 seconds off her 400m personal best. She clocked 49.19 seconds at a Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 5, a time bettered this year only by Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo and 2017 World silver medalist Salwa Eid Naser.
Seyni is not as accomplished in the 200m, going into worlds ranked 50th in that event. She did win her 200m heat in a national record 22.58, the sixth-fastest time overall for the first round, to reach Tuesday’s semifinals.
The IAAF’s new testosterone rule is also keeping all three Rio Olympic 800m medalists out of that event at worlds, including two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya. Semenya is appealing the rule to a Swiss court after losing an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The IAAF rule states that an athlete with a difference of sexual development must reduce her blood testosterone level to below five nmol/L for a continuous period of at least six months before being eligible to compete. The IAAF in announcing the rule in April 2018 said that no female would have serum levels of natural testosterone at five nmol/L or above unless she had a difference of sexual development or a tumor.
If Serena Williams is to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, she may have to go through her older sister in the fourth round.
Williams, the sixth seed, could play Venus Williams in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, which begins Sunday.
Serena opens against countrywoman Kristie Ahn, whom she beat in the first round at the U.S. Open. Serena could then get her U.S. Open quarterfinal opponent, fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, in the second round.
If Venus is to reach the fourth round, she must potentially get past U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Azarenka beat Serena in the U.S. Open semifinals, ending the American’s latest bid to tie Margaret Court‘s major titles record.
Venus lost in the French Open first round the last two years.
The French Open top seed is 2018 champion Simona Halep, who could play 2019 semifinalist Amanda Anisimova in the third round.
Coco Gauff, the rising 16-year-old American, gets 2019 semifinalist Jo Konta of Great Britain in the first round in the same quarter of the draw as Halep.
The field lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.
Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.
Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.
Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.
The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.