Athletes that compete in the Olympics are rigorously tested and screened for the use of any illegal performance enhancing drugs. If caught doping, the athletes are barred from competition and branded as cheaters. What if the chemical you were accused of using to increase your physical attributes occurred naturally? That’s exactly what has happened to a handful of women competing in the Rio Games.

The Associated Press reported that a number of female athletes with naturally occurring high levels of testosterone have been investigated by the International Athletics Association Federation, who claim that the high levels of testosterone give these women an unfair advantage.  In the past, the IAAF asked these athletes to take testosterone suppressants, but a recent ruling at the Court of Arbitration for sport ensures that these athletes can compete in international competitions, including the Rio Olympics.

The debate on whether or not athletes with hyperandrogenism - the medical term for women with abnormal amounts of testosterone - should be able to compete has made headlines as South African runner Caster Semenya makes her Rio debut Wednesday. Semenya, who has been forced to take gender tests in the past, has been ridiculed for her hyperandrogenism by the press and by the public at large.

“There are all kinds of biological differences that are out there among the sexes. There are also all kinds of biological differences out there among all of these athletes. I know we want to dream and wish that what we are rooting for at the Olympics is training along with perseverance and will and virtues; often what we are rooting for.. is who has the best genes,” said medical ethicist at NYU’s Langone Medical Center Art Caplan on Boston Public Radio Wednesday.

Caplan compared the advantages of Semenya’s high levels of testosterone to the advantage tall basketball players have or swimmers with large feet have. “They didn’t do anything, that is just the way they are,” he said.

Just because athletes with hyperandrogenism may have a biological leg up on the competition, doesn’t mean they should be discouraged from competing, says Caplan. “I think they’re all kinds of advantages that people have do to their chemistry, their genetics, their heredity, the luck of where they are born, what they eat; I don’t think you can level the playing field in any useful way. It may make us scratch our heads but I don’t think you are going to be able to rule them out of competition.”