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  • Caster Semenya in the International Athletics Meeting, in Montreuil, France. June 11, 2019

    Caster Semenya in the International Athletics Meeting, in Montreuil, France. June 11, 2019

Published 8 September 2020
Opinion

Caster Semenya’s legal advisors stressed they would seek other legal alternatives in European courts to ensure her participation in the Olympic games next year, and said the rule is explicit discrimination of athletes with sexual and physiognomical differences.  

South African athlete Caster Semenya on Tuesday lost her appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal (STF) to override a Court of Arbitration (CAS) order of 2019, enforcing female athletes with elevated natural testosterone levels to reduce it medically. 

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“I am very disappointed by this ruling, but refuse to let World Athletics drug me or stop me from being who I am,” Semenya said.

In May, the double Olympic 800 meters champion resorted to STF after the 2019 World Athletics decision that racing athletes with differences in sexual development should be regulated to ensure a fair competition.

STF concluded that drug control or surgical interventions on female athletes with high testosterone levels do not breach Swiss public policies.

Several competitors and coachers have claimed that high testosterone levels could give Semenya and other athletes in the same condition an unfair advantage. Testosterone can lead to muscle mass increase and higher hemoglobin levels. 

Caster Semenya’s legal advisors stressed they would seek other legal alternatives in European courts to ensure her participation in the Olympic games next year. They said the rule is explicit discrimination of athletes with sexual and physiognomical differences.  

“Excluding female athletes or endangering our health solely because of our natural abilities puts World Athletics on the wrong side of history. I will continue to fight for the human rights of female athletes, both on the track and off the track until we can all run free the way we were born,” Semenya said.

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