A former sprinter is requesting that Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Christine Mboma prove that she is really a biological woman.
Marcin Urbaś, a former Polish track star who now coaches the sport in his home country, raised concerns regarding Mboma's biological sex last week, calling on the athlete to undergo a sex-affirming test to prove her womanhood.
Mboma, an 18-year-old athlete from Namibia, won silver in the women's 200-meter sprint last week, running the race in 21.81 seconds — the fourth-fastest pace ever recorded. She was bested only by Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah, who set a new world record of 21.53 seconds during the race.
She also — along with 18-year-old Namibian teammate Beatrice Masilingiis — reportedly has hyperandrogenism, a condition that produces abnormal amounts of testosterone in the body.
Because of their condition, both Mboma and Masilingiis were barred from competing in races with distances between 400 meters and a mile, in accordance with Olympic rules. The two, however, were allowed to compete in the 200-meter race at the Tokyo Games.
But their participation has been a source of controversy, especially as questions surrounding gender identity and biological sex have become a flashpoint in the sporting world as of late.
"I would like to request a thorough test on Mboma to find out if she definitely is a woman," Urbaś told Spanish news outlet Marca following the race.
"The testosterone advantage of Mboma over other participants is seen with the naked eye," he argued. "In construction, movement, technique, at the same time as speed and endurance."
To bolster his claims, Urbaś compared Mboma's times to his own. The Polish athlete competed on the world stage in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when he set the Polish record for the 200-meter sprint, running the race in 19.98 seconds.
He said that in only a few years' time, Mboma will improve significantly and her advantage will become obvious.
"She has the parameters of an 18-year-old boy. At that age, my [personal best] was 22.01, and she has done it in [21.81] in Tokyo. With progression and improvement in her technique, she will soon drop to 21.00 seconds in 200-meter and 47.00 seconds in the 400-meter," he claimed.
"We will continue to think that she is fair and equal, and it is a clear and insolent injustice against women who are definitely women," Urbaś stated.