Athletics: Caster Semenya Loses In Landmark Case

Athletics: Caster Semenya Loses In Landmark Case. PHOTO SOURCE: Reuters

Athletics: Caster Semenya Loses In Landmark Case. PHOTO SOURCE: Reuters

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected South African runner, Caster Semenya‘s challenge against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF’s) implementation of a new eligibility requirement that would force female athletes with naturally higher testosterone levels to either take medication in order to compete or compete in other races.

Concise News reports that last June, Semenya took legal action against the board, calling the rule discriminatory and unfair. “I just want to run naturally, the way I was born,” said the 28-year-old athlete at the time.

The South African government launched the #NaturallySuperior movement in February to support the athlete and her right to compete as she is. The Minister of Sport, Toko Xasa, describes the requirements as being a “gross violation of internationally accepted standards of human rights.”

Despite the rule’s controversy, CAS has ruled in favour of the IAAF.

In a statement on Wednesday, CAS claims it had “serious concerns as to the future practical application of the rule.” It admits that the rule is, in fact, discriminatory, but claims the discrimination was “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” to protect “the integrity of female athletics.”

In response to the ruling, Semenya criticizes the IAAF for consistently targeting her, but notes that she has no intention of letting the ruling stop her. “For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger,” says the athlete. “The decision of 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.”

Earlier today (Wednesday), the athlete tweeted a graphic, which reads “sometimes it’s better to react with no reaction.”


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Ridwan is a trained communicator who specialises in football and squash. He has been published by African Examiner. He provides professional coverage of general news, politics and sports, and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first Nigerian interview with South Africa's no. 1 male squash player, Jean-Pierre Brits. He is a proud Nigerian and campaigner for #NigeriaIsOurs.


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