CASTER SEMENYA TO CHALLENGE IAAF ‘FEMALE CLASSIFICATION’ RULE

CASTER SEMENYA TO CHALLENGE IAAF ‘FEMALE CLASSIFICATION’ RULE

South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya will challenge a female classification rule imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) at sport’s highest court, her lawyers said on Monday.

The double Olympic and triple world 800 meters champion faces having to take medication to lower her higher than normal levels of naturally-produced testosterone, which the sport’s governing IAAF has deemed gives her an unfair advantage.

Law firm Norton Rose Fulbright said in a statement that the legal challenge would be filed on Monday at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

“Ms Semenya, like all athletes, is entitled to compete the way she was born without being obliged to alter her body by any medical means,” Norton Rose Fulbright said.

The IAAF said its decision was based on peer-reviewed studies and close observation by scientists which showed that females with above-normal or male equivalent levels of testosterone had up to a 12 percent performance advantage over fellow female athletes.

“These advantages (which translate, in athletics, to an average 10-12 percent performance difference across all disciplines) make competition between men and women as meaningless and unfair as an adult competing against a child,” the IAAF said in an e-mailed statement.

The athletics body added that it was ready to defend the new regulations at CAS if asked to do so.

Controversy has never been far from Semenya, now 27, since her teenage success in the 800 meters at the 2009 world championships in Berlin, where the pure power of her surge to victory sparked question marks about her sexuality.

Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin, which affects endurance. The IAAF rule, which comes into force on Nov. 1, is not directly aimed at Semenya but she will be most affected by it.

South African media and politicians have rallied to her defense and called the IAAF actions a “witch hunt.”

“I just want to run naturally, the way I was born. It is not fair that I am told I must change. It is not fair that people question who I am. I am Mokgadi Caster Semenya. I am a woman and I am fast,” Semenya was quoted as saying in the Norton Rose Fulbright statement.

Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Additional reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by James Macharia/David Stamp/Ken Ferris

Facebook Comments

About author

Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 1726 posts

We are about democracy, human rights, public opinion, political behavior, civil rights and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries.

You might also like

PAXTON FIELIES CROWNED ‘IDOLS SA’ WINNER

JOHANNESBURG – Capetonian Paxton Fielies has been crowned the winner of Idols SA season 13. The Idols finale has been one of the biggest in the history of the show.

PRESIDENT BUHARI MEETS FIRST BLACKMAN ELECTED SENATOR IN ITALY

Mr Toni Iwobi, of Nigerian origin and domiciled in Italy for 41 years, is the first black man ever to be elected senator. On the sidelines of the 73rd United

Business 0 Comments

WHY MOST NIGERIAN BUSINESSES CANNOT BECOME CONGLOMERATES – DR CHIJIOKE EKECHUKWU

An economist, Dr Chijioke Ekechukwu, says Nigerian businesses find it difficult to become conglomerates due to both external and internal factors. Ekechukwu, a former Director-General, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply