“We are witnessing a situation where the IAAF (World Athletics) through these regulations is using sports to discriminate against women with intersex variations and to reinforce harmful gender stereotypes,” Awoumou said.
“The majority of athletes affected by the regulations are from the global south and for Africa these regulations remind us of the difficult and dark past of racial segregation,” he said.
“Segregating women on the basis of intersex variations has the same effect as apartheid, one of the international crimes against humanity.”
World Athletics rules for female classification require athletes with a “difference of sexual development,” or sexual anatomy that doesn't fit binary female or male boxes, to reduce their levels of testosterone, a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and hemoglobin, which affects endurance.
The regulations apply to running events from 400 metres to the mile.
Last week, Namibian athletes Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi were withdrawn from the 400m event at the Olympic Games after tests revealed their natural testosterone levels were too high.