A tearful Lynsey Sharp said the decision to overturn rules on testosterone suppression made competing against the women’s Olympic 800m champion, Caster Semenya, and other hyperandrogenic athletes difficult.
The British runner finished sixth in Saturday night’s final in Rio as Semenya powered to gold. The South African has made a return to form after the court of arbitration for sport overturned a rule created by the International Association of Athletics Federations which had forced athletes with naturally high levels of testosterone to take hormone-suppressing drugs.
Sharp told the BBC after the race: “I have tried to avoid the issue all year. You can see how emotional it all was. We know how each other feels. It is out of our control and how much we rely on people at the top sorting it out. The public can see how difficult it is with the change of rule but all we can do is give it our best.
“I was coming down the home straight, we were not far away and you can see how close it is. That is encouraging. We will work hard and aim to come back even stronger.”
Sharp, who ran a personal best 1min 57.69sec, hinted that her feelings are shared by her fellow athletes Melissa Bishop of Canada and Poland’s Joanna Jozwik, who also missed out on medals. The three hugged together after the finish in what Sharp said was a show of unity. “We see each other week in, week out, so we know how each other feel.”
On her own performance, Sharp added: “I’ll have to watch it back. I feel a bit disappointed. I had a lot left at the end but I don’t know if that means I ran it right or had too much left. I came through strong at the end, that was good, but we shall see.”
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