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World Athletics regulation created in toxic place where sexism and racism overlap. At a track meet in Poland last week, Christine Mboma won the women’s 400 metres in 48.54 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year. If you hadn’t heard of her before that blazing fast run, that’s normal. Mboma’s an 18-year-old phenom from Namibia and a newcomer to the European circuit where established stars compete, and her clocking set a new world record for runners under 20. It also came two months after another Namibian teenager, Beatrice Masilingi, ran 49.53 over 400 metres at a small meet in Zambia. That time still stands as the seventh fastest worldwide this season — it’s 1.3 seconds faster than any Canadian has run in 2021. The results also raised suspicions among officials at World Athletics, who dispatched doctors to Namibia so the two 18-year-olds could undergo “medical assessments.” Those tests revealed neither runner was doping, which both already knew. But the examinations found that both women’s bodies produce enough natural testosterone to violate World Athletics’ convoluted rules on the hormone.

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