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ASA reacts to CAS ruling, Semenya says it won’t hold her back

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Caster Semenya says IAAF used her as drug guinea pig

CAS has delivered a ruling in favour of the IAAF to force female athletes to regulate their testosterone levels; Semenya remains steadfast amidst the loss.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled in favour of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), against Caster Semenya, to uphold its rules to force female athletes to regulate their testosterone levels. The rules would compel hyperandrogenic athletes – or those with “differences of sexual development” (DSD) – to lower their testosterone levels if they wish to compete as women.

In a statement on Wednesday, 1 May 2019, the double 800m Olympic Champion said the ruling would not hold her back.

“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.” Semenya said.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) – who had backed Semenya from the very beginning, together with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) – expressed deep disappointment and profound shock at the CAS ruling.

“We are, however, reeling in shock at the how a body held in high esteem like CAS can endorse discrimination without flinching.

“South Africa knows discrimination better and CAS has seen it fit to open the wounds of apartheid a system of discrimination condemned by the whole world as a crime against humanity. For CAS not to only condone discrimination but also go to lengths to justify it, only undermines the integrity that this body is entrusted with. We believe their decision is disgraceful.”

Semenya has been given 30 days to appeal the ruling and in a statement, ASA said it was encouraged to take the matter to the Swiss Federal Tribunal because of several reasons, which include the award not being unanimous as only two judges against one voted for IAAF and, “the CAS panel has raised several concerns about the possibility of harmful effects on those athletes who have to undergo treatment noting the difficulties of implementation of the DSD regulations in the context of a maximum permitted level of testosterone.”

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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