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Caster Semenya’s Olympic hopes fade

THE double Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya appears to have lost her long-running legal battle against regulations requiring women with high testosterone to take medication to compete internationally between 400m and a mile.

A Swiss federal tribunal said on Tuesday that it supported a decision by the court of arbitration for sport last year that track and field’s policy for athletes with differences in sex development (DSD) was “necessary, reasonable and proportionate” to ensure fair competition in women’s sport.

“Based on these findings, the Cas decision cannot be challenged,” the tribunal said. “Fairness in sport is a legitimate concern and forms a central principle of sporting competition. It is one of the pillars on which competition is based.”

It now looks impossible for Semenya, the London 2012 and Rio 2016 gold medallist, to defend her title in Tokyo. She responded to the news by accusing World Athletics of being on the “wrong side of history”.

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

The South African was almost unstoppable until World Athletics implemented a new policy for DSD athletes, including Semenya, that compelled them to reduce their testosterone levels to less than 5 nmol/L if they wanted to compete in elite events between 400m and a mile. – theguardian.com