This is the first of a three-part series that will explore the history of gender testing in sports and how it affects the modern sporting climate. Part I looks at the early origins of gender testing.

Governing bodies in sports, from minor leagues to major international organizations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC), have long been free to discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, and gender. In particular, sex verification or determination testing has frequently targeted women athletes. Women whose athletic performances defy society’s expectations, who are “too good,” are expected to prove that they are women. This is especially true for women who, in addition to excelling athletically, also challenge the accepted standards of white feminine beauty. Sex verification testing and classification is typically justified on the basis of “fair play.” However, “fair play” is a nebulous term, with its contemporary origins in nineteenth-century organized sport. Today, the term tends to mean competition without unbalanced competitive advantage, but as science historian Vanessa Heggie writes, “There are probably hundreds of genetic variations which lead to ‘unfair’ advantages in sport; only those associated with gender are used to exclude or disqualify athletes.”

ESPN: Layshia Clarendon, Abby Wambach and other athletes say ‘me too’

Two simple and powerful words have been reverberating through social media since Sunday: Me too.

Victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault have been stepping forward to call attention to the epidemic. Athletes, of course, are not immune.

Eric Adelson, Yahoo sports: McKayla Maroney saying #MeToo is eye-opening

Maroney has been keeping this part of her story inside for nearly 10 years, and it took a viral online campaign for her to bring her accusation forward. That should indicate how much emotional pain she has been in. She says there were many times when she was exploited, violated, dehumanized. She kept smiling for the coaches and cameras.

She probably felt she had no choice. Whatever agony she was going through was not as bad as whatever consequences blowing the whistle would bring. And those consequences would more likely be for her than for Nassar.

“You have to have a lot of, frankly, male enablers to get away with it,” says Hogshead-Makar, a gold-medal winning swimmer who is now the CEO of Champion Women. “Women have really done what we can. The next big change is going to be men stepping up to the plate and recognizing when they see harassment that they’re willing to step up.”

It’s frustrating, enraging and disturbing that it takes a #METOO hashtag to for sexual abuse and harassment to be “eye opening.” The stories have been there – folks simply haven’t wanted to believe them. Why do you think that is?

Flashback 2003: Coaches who Prey: The Abuse of Girls and the System that Allows It.

In a dark side of the growing world of girls sports, 159 coaches have been reprimanded or fired for sexual misconduct in the past decade. And 98 continued to coach or teach — as schools, the state and even some parents looked the other way.

Today: Floyd County PE teacher and girl’s basketball coach jailed on charges of aggravated sexual battery and taking indecent liberties with a minor