Aminatou Seyni

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World No. 3 400m runner forced to 200m at worlds due to testosterone rule

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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.

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