IAAF to seek swift reversion of Swiss court's Semenya ruling

Wednesday June 5 2019

Caster Semenya.

South Africa's Caster Semenya competes in the women's 800m during the IAAF Diamond League competition in Doha, Qatar, on May 3, 2019. IAAF wants a reversion of Swiss court's ruling, which allows Semenya to compete without using drugs to lower her testosterone levels. PHOTO | AFP 

REUTERS
By REUTERS
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The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it will seek a swift reversion of Monday’s Swiss court ruling in favour of double Olympic champion Caster Semenya.

Semenya has appealed a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision that supported the IAAF’s rule that XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs), like Semenya, can race in distances from 400 metres to a mile only if they take medication to lower their testosterone levels.

SEEK REVERSION

In response to that decision the IAAF said in a statement that it would seek a “swift reversion of the superprovisional order... to avoid serious confusion amongst athletes and event organisers and to protect the integrity of the sport.”

It added that the suspension of regulations applied only to Semenya and will be in effect until June 25.

“The SFT’s decision was “ex parte”, meaning that it was requested and issued without the IAAF’s knowledge,” the athletics’ governing body said.

“The IAAF did not receive appellant’s filings or the order until today so has not had the chance to explain why the DSD Regulations should remain in force and applicable to all affected athletes while the appeal is pending.”

Reuters has contacted Semenya’s representatives for comment.

EQUAL RIGHTS

In defence of its rules, the IAAF said it was committed to the full participation of women in athletics and would continue to fight for equal rights and opportunities for all women.

“The IAAF fully respects each individual’s personal dignity and supports the social movement to have people accepted in society based on their chosen legal sex and/or gender identity,” the IAAF statement added.

“However, the IAAF is convinced there are some contexts, sport being one of them, where biology has to trump identity.

“The IAAF also believes the right to participate in sport does not translate to a right to self-identify into a competition category or an event.

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