Navaratilova backs Semenya ahead of IAAF gender rule hearing

Tennis great Martina Navratilova has come to the defence of Olympic 800 metres champion Caster Semenya ahead of next week’s landmark hearing on proposed rules that aim to restrict testosterone levels in female athletes.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has proposed rules that would force so-called “hyperandrogenic” athletes or those with “differences of sexual development” (DSD) to medically lower their testosterone levels below a prescribed amount.

Track and field’s global governing body wants to introduce the rule changes in order to promote what it says will be fairer competition between all female athletes.

But Semenya, the most high-profile athlete who would be affected by such an alteration to the rule book, is challenging the legality of the IAAF’s proposals in a case which will be heard at the Court of Arbitration (CAS) in Lausanne from Monday.

Significantly, the change would only apply to female athletes competing in distances from 400 metres to a mile — a point highlighted by 18-time Grand Slam single champion Navratilova in a column Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper.


“Leaving out sprints and longer distances seems to me to be a clear case of discrimination by targeting Semenya,” Navratilova wrote.

“And can it be right to order athletes to take medication? What if the long-term effects proved harmful?

“Semenya’s case will come up tomorrow before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It is expected to last a week and the outcome is expected by March 29. I hope she wins.”

Semenya, the Olympic 800m gold medallist at both the London and Rio Games, is also a three-time world champion.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Agency
External source

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

How smuggled gold destined for Dubai or Singapore has links...

Three Malagasy citizens were apprehended at OR Tambo International airport, but now the trail is found to connect to France and Mali

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

More top stories

2020-21 NBA SEASON – AFRICAN BLOGTABLE

Joel Embiid gets the nod, and though Curry has performed well lately, there are doubts that the Warriors will prevail

Beyond the digital cold war: Technology and the future of...

Several African governments have published plans to establish smart cities, including Cairo, Johannesburg, Kigali and Nairobi. They require the most advanced technologies available

Funding a vaccine will tax our limits

VAT should not be hiked, but a once-off levy on mineral resources or a solidarity tax seems likely

‘SA can’t leave its shift to a low-carbon future to...

Innovation and creativity is crucial to guide financing, say experts
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…