A few weeks before the London Olympics in 2012, Annet Negesa, a young woman of twenty, an upcoming athlete from Uganda, was told that she couldn’t compete in the Olympics.

She had not doped. She had not cheated. But she was disqualified for having high level of naturally-produced testosterone.

In a few months, the IAAF conducted a detailed medical assessment in Nice. Following which she underwent a surgery without proper informed consent in Uganda.

Annet was not given any options. 

In the last seven years, Annet had suffered silently and did not receive any follow up medical support. She did not know she needed life long hormone therapy.

She lost her ability to compete and also her ability to earn a livelihood.

She was left alone.

With no help and no care.

Annet needs YOUR help!
Please support the petition and the Crowdfunding campaign below.


I was an athlete with potential to make it big.
I had dreams.
But the IAAF shattered my dreams.
I was told to go under the knife if I wanted to compete.
I felt I had no choice.
I was just twenty.

For seven years I have been suffering silently. I tried to train and compete but could never find enough strength physically. At the time of the medical investigation and later the surgery, I was told it was a “simple” thing. No one ever told me that this surgery would mean I would require to take medication all my life. For the last seven years, I felt more and more weak because of the after-effects of the surgery. The IAAF who pushed me to this, never asked for me again.

What was my fault? I was born the way I was. I am not one of the drug-cheats. I was a healthy young woman and a successful athlete.
I’ve won the AFRICAN GAMES in 2011 for Uganda.
I was named 2011 Athlete of the Year by Uganda Athletics Federation.
I was supposed to run as one of Uganda’s best athletes in the London Olympic Games in 2012.

Some weeks before the Olympics Games, my manager called me and said that they withdrew my name.
I was not going to London.
They told me, I had high levels of testosterone. I did not know at that time what the future help for me.

They asked me to stop moving around the streets because they wanted to tell everyone that I had an injury. I was actually totally fine and ready to compete in London.

Then the IAAF called me to Nice to conduct some medical tests. I went alone. During and after the tests, the doctors spoke to my manager.

I was never given an option.
Never told that taking medication could be an option.
I was just told that the procedure was ‘simple’.

The IAAF doctors charged a lot of money for the procedure which my manager said we didn’t have. So the IAAF doctors suggested clinics in Africa.

I was given no clear information about the surgery. When I came back to my senses the morning after the surgery, I realised I had cuts. That I had a surgery.

They did a surgery and told me to keep quiet. I did. As if I should be ashamed of it, of myself and the body I was born with.

But why should I be ashamed? What have I done? I have simply wanted to run.

Today I fear that the IAAF will continue to cause harm to young athletes like me. Try and regulate young women who are as helpless as I was in 2012. But this must stop.

What are the IAAF Hyperandrogenism Regulations ?

In 2011, the IAAF introduced its Hyperandrogenism Regulations which recommended that women with high level of naturally-occurring testosterone will need to take medical steps which could include hormone therapy or surgery.
The Hyperandrogenism Regulations were suspended due to lack of scientific evidence in 2015 after Indian athlete Dutee Chand challenged the IAAF at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Currently the IAAF has implemented the DSD Regulations affecting races between 400m and 1 mile after the CAS dismissed Caster Semenys’s appeal against the current Regulations. Ms. Semenya has now appealed against the CAS Decision at the Swiss Federal Tribunal.


Prof. Dr. med. Frank Ulrich Montgomery

“These are surgical procedures for which there is no medical justification.
To us, fairness alone is no reason to intervene with a person’s hormones. You also have to consider the risks involved. “

(Prof. Dr. Montgomery)

Steve Cornelius

[The IAAF is] “funding their own research, but with total disregard for the rights or interests of the athletes that are affected. And it actually shows a disgraceful lack of regard for the athletes that are affected and how it affects them, if they’re touched by these regulations.”

(Steve Cornelius)

These regulations have caused severe harm to athletes. Their rights were violated before, during and after these medical interventions. Annet says she never felt she had a choice to say ‘no’. She was not informed clearly about the surgery which is life-changing and irreversible. And she was never told by any of the doctors about long-term medical support after the surgery.
How unfair is that?

(Payoshni Mitra)

“These surgeries are human rights violations. […] And they breach a series of international human rights legal standards. Indeed it is an obligation of the IAAF […] to put standards forward that don’t violate international human rights law. […] They have fundamentally failed to do that on multiple occasions and they continue to fail.

(Kyle Knight)

Bruce Kidd

“As a former Commonwealth champion in athletics, I am horrified that the international body of my sport has conducted a systematic campaign of persecution and butchery against outstanding female athletes with DSD from the Global South, such as Annet Negesa. The IAAF policies which led to this brutal campaign were created and approved in violation of every principle of science-based policy-making established by the UN and most western governments. They were based on their own investigations, with virtually no independent scientific reviews, standards of evidence, ethical considerations nor consultation with the women affected, and implemented with neither the education of the officials responsible nor protections for athletes’ rights. It is a disgrace to sport.

The policy should be abolished, and proper medical care and financial reparation paid to Annet and other athletes.”

(Bruce Kidd)


Payoshni Mitra

Payoshni Mitra

Athlete Rights Activist