Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

Semenya wins SA 5000m title stays mum on CAS ruling

Caster SemenyaIt was a good day on the track for a focused Caster Semenya who avoided the media after her 5000m win.

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Caster Semenya 1200x800 - Semenya wins SA 5000m title stays mum on CAS ruling

Caster Semenya won the 5,000m title at the South African athletics Championships on Thursday in Germiston but wouldn’t comment on the upcoming CAS ruling in her case against the IAAF

Semenya would not be drawn on next week’s ruling which will determine whether or not athletes’ testosterone levels should be regulated in a landmark case which could seriously impact her career.

The reigning Olympic 800m champion challenged the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) female track/field eligibility rules at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Her bid has received the full backing of Athletics South Africa and unilateral support from all parties represented in parliament.

Semenya wants the proposed rule change, which would force athletes with “differences of sexual development” (DSD) to keep testosterone levels below a prescribed amount, scrapped.

The more disturbing aspects of the rule changes include the prospect of DSD athletes being forced to submit to genital examinations.

The rule would apply only to female athletes competing in distances between 400m and a mile where the largest concentrations of DSD athletes compete.

Semenya comfortably won a 1,500m heat earlier in the day, did not speak to the media after her 5,000m triumph achieved in a time of 16 minutes 05.97 seconds.

The athlete is not permitted to discuss the case publicly until after the judgement, but clarified her case against the IAAF in a statement issued through her legal counsel ahead of the CAS proceedings.

“There are different regulations for DSD athletes and transgender athletes. Semenya respects the rights and interests of transgender athletes around the world,” her attorneys conveyed.

“Her case, however, is about the rights of women such as Semenya who are born as women, reared and socialized as women, who have been legally recognized as women for their entire lives, who have always competed in athletics as women, and who should be permitted to compete in the female category without discrimination.

“Ms. Semenya is unquestionably a woman. She is a heroine and an inspiration to many around the world. She looks forward to responding to the IAAF at the upcoming CAS hearing”

A judgement in the CAS arbitration is expected at the end of April.

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