Caster Semenya has ruled out taking drugs to reduce her body’s hormone levels to compete in 800m races, as demanded by a new IAAF regulation.
Double Olympian Semenya made this known minutes after winning the thirtieth 800m race at the Doha Diamond League meeting on Friday, 3 May 2019, in her first race since losing her appeal over the controversial gender ruling believed to be designed and targeted against her.
Claiming “actions speak louder than words”, the double Olympian said no human can give her orders on what to do concerning her athletics career and taking negative drugs to reduce her testosterone levels was not in her plans.
In her emphatic victory in Doha on Friday, 3 May 2019, the South African world champion athlete clocked 1:54.98 minutes to beat Burundian Francine Niyonsaba, who clocked 1:57.75, and Ajee Wilson of the United States who came in at 1:58.83.
Semenya’s victory is her last over 800m before new IAAF rules governing testosterone levels come into effect on 8 May 2019.
However, the runner left an opening that she was ready to switch to running longer distances of 1,500m or 5,000m if she is not able to stop the IAAF in her appeal in 30 days to continue with her highly successful running career.
“I have no plans to retire,” the 28-year-old runner told the press in Doha, Qatar, adding that she was “too young” to hang up her boots.
Asked if she intended to take hormone-suppressing treatment as demanded by IAAF President Sebastian Coe, she said: “Hell no. No way.”
The South African government and her compatriots have expressed massive support for the popular athlete.
“I don’t know what will happen next. But no-one should tell me what to do. If people want to stop me from doing something, that’s their problem. Not mine,” the defiant athlete said.