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Wednesday, 1 May 2019

South Africa's 800m Olympic Champion Caster Semenya Lost Her Case Against IAAF Over Her Testosterone Level

Image result for images of Caster Semenya

The Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya has lost her case at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) against rules regulating testosterone in female athletes and is considering whether to launch an appeal against the ruling. 

Semenya, a double Olympic champion who has dominated 800m running over the last decade, fought regulations imposed by the IAAF which aims to compel 'hyperandrogenic' athletes — or those with 'differences of sexual development' (DSD) — to lower their testosterone levels if they wished to compete as women. 
IAAF argued that the rules were essential to preserve a level playing field to ensure all female athletes can see 'a path to success'.
Semenya's cause has earned widespread support, including from a global coalition of nations and scientific experts who argue that testosterone is an arbitrary and unfair measure for determining gender. 
But CAS disclosed today in a  statement: 'By majority, the CAS panel has dismissed the requests for arbitration considering that the claimants were unable to establish that the DSD regulations were 'invalid'.
'The panel found that the DSD regulations are discriminatory, but the majority of the panel found that, on the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties, such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF's aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the restricted events.'
Semenya, who fought the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, in February, responded on social media to the ruling with a tweet which read: 'Sometimes it's better to react with no reaction.' 
She then issued a defiant statement against the decision, saying: 'I know that the IAAF's regulations have always targeted me specifically.
'For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger. The decision of the CAS will not hold me back. 
'I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world.'
And a statement released by her legal team following the decision revealed that Semenya is already considering an appeal against the decision.
It read: 'Caster Semenya is pleased that a unanimous CAS Panel of three arbitrators confirmed that the IAAF's DSD Regulations are in fact discriminatory against certain women.
'Ms. Semenya is, however, disappointed that two of the three arbitrators concluded that such targeted discrimination is necessary. Ms. Semenya is reviewing the decision with her legal team and considering whether to file an appeal.
'Ms. Semenya shares the view of the dissenting CAS arbitrator that the DSD Regulations are unnecessary. Women with differences in sexual development have genetic variations that are conceptually no different than other genetic variations that are celebrated in the sport. 
'The IAAF's basis for discriminating against these women is their natural genetic variations. Ms. Semenya believes that women like her should be respected and treated like any other athlete. As is typically the case across sport, her unique genetic gift should be celebrated, not regulated.'
It added: 'Ms. Semenya believes that the dissenting CAS arbitrator will be shown to be correct and the DSD Regulations will be overturned.
'In the interim, Ms Semenya believes that it is irresponsible for the IAAF to proceed with the implementation of the DSD Regulations in circumstances where the CAS decision makes it abundantly clear that there are serious problems with the Regulations that need to be carefully considered and the DSD Regulations will unquestionably cause harm to the women affected by them.'
The IAAF said it was 'grateful' to CAS for its judgment and was 'pleased' its regulations had been upheld.
It said the regulations would be coming into effect on May 8.
As a result, affected athletes hoping to be eligible for the World Championships in Doha in October, have a week to reduce testosterone levels to within the regulation levels, so, the IAAF said, they 'are encouraged to initiate their suppressive treatment as soon as possible'.
The regulations require athletes to reduce their testosterone levels to below 5 nmol/L for a continuous period of at least six months prior to competition.
But the IAAF said that, because of the delay in implementing the rules caused by Semenya's legal challenge, it will accept affected athletes who comply with the limit starting on or before May 8 as eligible.
The governing body added: 'No athlete will be forced to undergo an assessment and/or treatment under these regulations. It is each athlete's responsibility, in close consultation with her medical team, to decide whether or not to proceed with an assessment and/or treatment.' 


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