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Caster Semenya World Champs hopes dashed

 

 

Caster Semenya will not be competing in the World Championships this year after a Swiss judge reportedly overturned a temporary suspension of the IAAF’s new testosterone regulations. The ruling means the athlete will be unable to defend her 800m title.

“Yesterday, a single judge of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court reversed prior rulings that had temporarily suspended the IAAF Regulations pending the outcome of Caster’s appeal against the CAS Award,” said a statement from the Semenya released on Tuesday. “In this latest decision, the Supreme Court emphasised the strict requirements and high thresholds for the interim suspension of CAS awards and found that these were not fulfilled.”

The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland early in June ordered the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to suspend its testosterone eligibility regulations pending the finalisation of athlete’s appeal before it.

The Olympian had approached the court and asked it to overturn the Court of Arbitration of Sport’s (CAS) dismissal of her challenge against new rules she perceived as discriminatory.

The court is expected to release its decision in full on Wednesday.

“I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title,” Semenya said via the statement. “But this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned.”

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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