A defiant Caster Semenya has vowed to keep “inspiring young women” all across the world, despite the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)’s ruling on Wednesday. The sport’s governing body made the surprise decision to rule against the South African, who has been told “regulate” her testosterone.
The Court of Arbitration (CAS) for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland ruled that the IAAF’s proposed rules to force female athletes to control certain hormones should be upheld. While the court agreed that the regulations were “discriminatory”, their application was warranted.
Caster Semenya reacts to IAAF ruling
Semenya hasn’t stayed quiet on this issue, sharing both a statement and a Tweet on the matter shortly after the decision was made public. She tuned the IAAF for making her a specific target, but vowed to return stronger:
“I know that the IAAF’s regulations have always targeted me specifically. For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger.”
“The decision of the 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.”
— Caster Semenya (@caster800m) May 1, 2019
Government back their “golden girl”
The government have immediately leapt to the defence of Semenya, with Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa releasing a statement on Wednesday afternoon. She said her department would be reviewing the decision, and threw her full support behind South Africa’s “golden girl”.
- You can read the full statement here:
[Statement] Minister of @SPORTandREC_RSA Ms. Tokozile Xasa on the outcome of the Court of Arbitration for Sport case on matter involving, Ms. #CasterSemenya, Athletics South Africa and the International Association of Athletics Federations’ #IAAF #WeAreCasterSemenya pic.twitter.com/yJP74Ndxfs
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) May 1, 2019
DA issue support for Caster Semenya
On the blue side of the political divide, the DA was just as disappointed with the IAAF’s conclusions. Solly Malatsi is a spokesperson for the opposition party, and he lambasted the “discriminatory” ruling against the “undoubtedly talented” athlete:
“This IAAF policy is wholly discriminatory to female athletes who happen to have higher testosterone levels in their bodies and no doubt sets an awful precedent for the sport. The DA stands in full support of Semenya, who is an undoubtedly talented young woman who has made South Africa proud.”
“We now call upon the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the SA government to provide greater support Caster Semenya, and use all available processes to oppose this decision.”
- For a comprehensive round-up of what happens next for Caster Semenya, you can read our earlier article on the decision here.