Swiss court suspends IAAF regulations pending Semenya appeal

Caster Semenya can run without restriction again for the time being. The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland on Wednesday ordered the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to suspend its testosterone eligibility regulations pending the athlete’s appeal before it.

The Olympian announced last week that she would approach the court and ask it to overturn the Court of Arbitration of Sport’s (CAS) dismissal of her challenge against new rules she perceived as discriminatory.

The suspension of the regulations means she is free to compete in any event without the need for testosterone regulation and monitoring.

“I am thankful to the Swiss judges for this decision,” Semenya said in a statement. “I hope that following my appeal I will once again be able to run free.”

Her lawyer, Gregg Nott, confirmed to Radio 702 that they had filed the application to suspend along with their appeal.

“We brought an application for suspension of the regulations which today we learnt was successful,” he said.

The IAAF has until June 25 to file a response. The Swiss Supreme Court is expected to issue another ruling after it receives the submissions.

Semenya had initially approached CAS after the IAAF introduced new middle-distance regulations in April last year. The “eligibility regulations for female classification” restricted the levels of testosterone allowed in women intending to run the 400m, 800m and 1 500m.

Under such rules, athletes who have a “difference of sexual development” (DSD) would be rigorously monitored and forced to lower, and then maintain for six months, their testosterone levels to five nanomoles a litre (nmol/l).

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Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham is a features writer at the Mail & Guardian

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